Who's who on the Finzi Friends committee
President: Iain Burnside
Chairman: Martin Bussey
Martin Bussey is active as composer, singer and conductor in a wide variety of fields. His songs and choral music are reaching a growing audience, with recent performances on BBC Radio 3 of works written for the BBC Pilgrim Consort and frequent performances of settings of English poets such as Gurney, Hardy and Emily Bronte. He was for fourteen years head of Academic Music at Chetham's School of Music and continues to be conductor of Chetham's Chorus and Chamber Choir working regularly with conductors such as Paul McCreesh, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Jac van Steen. He has directed Chester Bach Singers for twenty-one years, with English Choral music a core ingredient of concerts. He sings regularly with the choir of Manchester Cathedral and teaches singing at Manchester University.
Vice-Chairman Paul Ives
Paul was invited to join the Finzi Friends committee in September 2013, having been a member of Finzi Friends with his wife Pat since 1995, during which time they have attended events at Ashmansworth and all the Ludlow weekends. He attended his first Finzi Friends committee meeting in January 2014. They live in East Horsley, Surrey.
He retired from the Defence Electronics industry in 2004, after over 40 years as a Chartered Engineer, specialising in naval and airborne radar and command systems, in order to devote more time to opera, choral music and other interests. He served on the committee of Surrey Festival Choir for 20 years, the last 10 as chairman. Surrey Festival Choir was formed out of the Surrey County Music association which was founded by Vaughan Williams to encourage participation in music throughout the county. He has also participated since the mid-1970s in the Leith Hill Musical Festival, also founded by Vaughan Williams in 1905.
Pat and Paul attend the Three Choirs Festival every year and meet huge numbers of audience members by acting as ushering stewards at the concerts and other events.
Having studied with a number of distinguished voice teachers, Paul has performed in over 25 operas and many concerts in London and Surrey over the past 30 years. He first encountered, and was attracted immediately to, the works of Gerald Finzi in the baritone songs and choral works, in particular Intimations of Immortality.
Treasurer Adrian Williams
Adrian Williams is an actuary and management consultant whose professional life was focused on the application of mathematics and statistics to the improvement of strategy and operations, for organizations in both the public and the private sector. In 1992 he was elected President of the Institute of Management Consultants. He was a Founder Member of the Guild that became, in 2004, the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants, and served as that Livery Company's Almoner for eight years.
He retired from active business at the earliest possible opportunity and for the past twenty-five years has pursued activities as varied as learning Classical Greek, chairing the International Society of Meccanomen, fell-walking in the Lake District and Snowdonia, and teaching himself the classical guitar. In this last endeavour he has been conspicuously unsuccessful, having instead to seek his musical consolation in the talents of his three sons. He came to Finzi through finding, in a sale, an LP that he bought for the Holst on Side 1; on Side 2, he found Wilfred Brown's performance of Dies Natalis – an epiphany indeed. He became a member of Finzi Friends in 2001.
Secretary and Newsletter Editor - Eric Hazelwood
Eric is the Secretary and has the responsibility for the production and editing of the biannual Newsletter, as well as Membership Secretary. He is keen to see that Members are kept informed and that Members become involved, whatever they have to say.
As a Chartered Engineer (now retired) he spent a lifetime in the nuclear industry which took him abroad, including the Far East and consequently, an opportunity to experience different musical cultures. Music in the home, where his trumpet, accompanied by his wife on the piano, is kept busy, has balanced the working environment and kept alive a love of music.
An upbringing in church tradition established a love for music and particularly choral singing. Over the years this has involved a number of Choral Societies and a Chamber Choir and he is currently singing with the Uppingham Choral Society as well as supporting his village Church where he serves as the Churchwarden.
He has a love of poetry, and English music in particular, which made the music of Gerald Finzi a natural choice, but membership of the RVW Society and a Friend of the Dymock poets has established that English tradition and indulging in the annual English Music Festival at Dorchester on Thames is a welcome addition.
His respect for the Finzi Friends and its dedicated team of enthusiastic leaders has encouraged him to give something back with their infectious enthusiasm and commitment being a worthy example
Clare is a powerful creative influence, as an interpreter of existing repertoire or commissioning and premiering new music. She has built a diverse career spanning the opera stage and concert platform, including Salzburg Easter Festival, Royal Opera, BBC Proms, Radio 3 and Edinburgh International Festival and Ludlow English Song Weekend.
She has a significant solo discography of works including works for her by Stephen McNeff and Hugh Wood.
Through her company McCaldin Arts Clare has produced several solo shows: Haydn’s London Ladies and Over My Shoulder (about Elisabeth Schumann and Jessie Matthews) and the critically-acclaimed Vivienne (about the first wife of TS Eliot) written for her by Stephen McNeff.
Mary’s Hand - Clare’s 2018 collaboration with Finzi Friends Chairman Martin Bussey - was given five stars by the Independent, describing the piece as “a modest gem of a show” and Clare as “an outstanding singing-actress”.
Geoffrey Allan Taylor
Geoffrey first encountered Gerald Finzi in the early 80’s, singing his part songs in a local choir and accompanying Finzi’s songs in festivals and concerts. He was also fascinated by Gerald’s love of apples and decided to plant many varieties himself. A first visit to the Ludlow English Song Weekend in 2007 further deepened his interest before joining the Finzi Friends committee in 2016.
Geoffrey was born in Stony Stratford and has lived there all his life and is well known in North Buckinghamshire, as composer pianist, and a teacher for over forty years. He first trained as an artist then as a teacher and later as a musician at the Guildhall in London. He has been involved in the local music scene since 1971 when he was a founder member of the Milton Keynes Sinfonia. As composer, pianist and violist he has been involved with orchestras, choirs, singers and festivals. He has written and conducted works for school music festivals, orchestras, vocal and chamber music groups, and much for keyboard instruments.
He has had works performed by the Britten Sinfonia and the Orchestra of Opera North and has been a prize winner in two national competitions, the British Flute Competition in 2001 and in the first British Clavichord Competition in 2004.and in November 2012 in the First Krzysztof Penderecki International Composers’ Competition in Radom Poland with ‘In Arboretum’ for string orchestra.
In May 2015, at the Ludlow English Song Weekend the first performance was given of two songs from his song cycle ‘The Echoing Axe,’ settings of Philip Larkin poems which were later broadcast on BBC Radio 3. As well as being a keen walker and swimmer, he enjoys the fruitful interaction of the arts and many of his poems have been published. As an enthusiastic organic gardener he's won the Conservative Cup for fruit growing in a local show.