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Classical Composers A-Z: Lennox Berkley

Peter Wintersgill outlines the life of English-born composer Lennox Berkley.

12th May, 1903 in Oxford


Partly French.


Studied at Oxford, later in Paris with Nadia Boulanger 1927 – 32, where he met Stravinsky and Poulenc.

Adult Life

Became a Roman Catholic in 1928. Worked for the BBC, then appointed Professor of Composition at R.A.M. Wrote an opera Nelson (1954), Missa Brevis in 1960, Magnificat, Stabat Mater, four symphonies, as well as various songs, piano and chamber music. Later wrote a one-act farce “A Dinner Engagement” (1954), a serenade for strings, and a Divertimento for chamber orchestra.
His songs have attained distinction, but his religious works show his deepest responses.

He was knighted in 1974.

He died 26th December 1989 in London aged 86.


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