The Finzi Trust has long been a supporter of the Academy. In 2017, the Trust created the Gerald Finzi Award, which is awarded annually to an outstanding young musician in financial need. It has since supported a number of Academy students, including the most recent recipient, Royal Academy Opera student Hazel Neighbour.

Now, as a result of our recent discussions and in addition to the Gerald Finzi Award, we are delighted to announce the establishment of the Finzi Trust Hardship Fund. This hardship fund is open to students under 25, who may apply for hardship funds related to the pandemic.

Both the hardship fund and the award have been named to commemorate the eminent English composer Gerald Finzi (1901-1956), who was a professor of composition at the Academy. Finzi is best known for the lyricism of his songs and orchestral writing (especially in his Clarinet Concerto). His solo cantata Dies natalis (1938-9) established his reputation as one of the most popular 20th-century British composers. In 2017, the Academy received a specially commissioned bronze portrait bust of Gerald Finzi (pictured above), sculpted by artist Jemma Pearson, which can be seen on display in the Academy.

The hardship fund has been made possible thanks to a legacy given to the Trust by Jean Finzi, a trustee from 1992 until her death at the age of 90 in 2016. Jean's focus centred on creative encouragement and in offering support to young musicians.

You can find out more about the Finzi Trust, and the works of Gerald Finzi, by visiting