Philip Hammond explores the friendship between composer, pianist and teacher Howard Ferguson, and composer Gerald Finzi, 100 years since the Northern Irishman's birth. With particular reference to their extensive and revealing correspondence, published in 2001, he also assess their place in British musical life. With contributions from leading Finzi biographers Diana McVeagh and Stephen Banfield, and Ferguson's Musical Exectuor Hugh Cobbe.
Ferguson was a highly versatile musical figure, who, as a pianist, performed in partnership with Dennis Matthews and violinist Yfrah Neaman; as a composer, his well-regarded orchestral and chamber works were taken up by performers such as Kathleen Ferrier and Henry Wood. Later on in life, he focused on editing a wide range early keyboard music as well as teaching at the Royal College of Music, where his pupils included Richard Rodney Bennett and Cornelius Cardew.