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Photo © Colin Busby
A contemporary of Walton and Tippett, Lennox Berkeley initially studied modern languages at Oxford University before studying composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. There he met and was influenced by Ravel, Poulenc and Stravinsky, and much of his work has a refinement and precision that is distinctly French in flavour. In 1928 he joined the Roman Catholic Church which was to inspire much of his vocal music. He enjoyed a long association with Benjamin Britten, with whom he collaborated on a number of works. In later years, his adoption of serialism marked a darker and more brooding style.