Gerald Raphael Finzi (14 July 1901 – 27 September 1956) was a British composer. Finzi is best known as a song-writer, but also wrote in other genres. Large-scale compositions by Finzi include the cantata Dies natalis for solo voice and string orchestra, and his concertos for cello and clarinet.
Born in London, son of John Abraham (Jack) Finzi (of Italian Jewish descent) and Eliza Emma (Lizzie) Leverson (daughter of Montague Leverson, of German Jewish descent), Finzi nevertheless became one of the most characteristically "English" composers of his generation. Despite being an agnostic, he wrote some inspired and imposing Christian choral music.
The outbreak of World War II delayed the first performance of Dies natalis at the Three Choirs Festival, an event that could have established Finzi as a major composer. He worked for theMinistry of War Transport and lodged German and Czech refugees in his home. After the war, he became somewhat more productive than before, writing several choral works as well as the Clarinet Concerto (1949), perhaps his most popular work.