English Composer Benjamin Britten Was Born On This Day in 1913
Britten was recognized for his significant operatic output and wrote some of the century's most-loved choral works
Praised for his English operas, which were regarded as some of the finest since those of Henry Purcell in the 17th century, Benjamin Britten was known for his crafted play on English words, orchestral interludes, and theatrical characterizations. His signature works include operas: "Peter Grimes," "Billy Budd," and "The Turn of the Screw."
In addition to musical collaborations with his life partner, tenor Peter Pears, he also wrote song cycles and a significant number of orchestral works — including "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" and the "War Requiem."
He studied with English composer Frank Bridge and his "Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge" for string orchestra won him international acclaim in 1937.
Britten's major contributions to the violin repertoire include his much-loved Violin Concerto and six string quartets.
Britten was the founder of one of the most important English music festivals, the Aldeburgh Festival, along with singer Peter Pears and librettist/producer Eric Crozier. The festival continues to invite new music, new interpretations, and rediscoveries of forgotten music.
Britten was recognized as Companion of Honour in 1953 and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1965.
CLAIRE WELLS | BRITTEN VIOLIN CONCERTO | ANDREW LITTON & AUCKLAND PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA