Gloucester cathedral is to celebrate the life of composer and poet, Ivor Gurney, by commissioning a new stained-glass window for its 15th-century Lady Chapel.
Gurney was born and bred in Gloucester, beginning his musical education there as a chorister in 1900.
It was during this time that he met fellow composer Herbert Howells, who would become a lifelong friend. Both were present at the cathedral to hear the premiere of Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis at the Three Choirs Festival in 1910, an event that convinced both young men to become composers.
The cathedral, with the help of the mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, have organised a charity festival on 31 August to help raise funds for the window, which will be designed by local artist Thomas Denny. Connolly will perform, alongside actor Simon Callow and a host of British singers, including tenor James Gilchrist and soprano Dame Felicity Lott. The programme will include many of Gurney’s best-loved works as well as music by his contemporaries.