The Nash Ensemble
One of the comparatively few British composers to gain an international reputation, Lennox Berkeley was born in Boar’s Hill, Oxford, on May 12th 1903. His mother’s family was resident in France, so he spent much of his time there, becoming bilingual and absorbing many aspects of French civilisation. His first musical influences came from his father, a naval officer and passionate amateur of music, who would play through his extensive piano-roll collection to the delight of his young son. Even as a child, Lennox would improvise at the piano and, although without instruction, would compose little pieces. His formal musical education was sketchy throughout his schooldays in England and when he went up to Oxford University it was as a student of French language and literature, not of music.