EDWARD BENJAMIN BRITTEN 1913-1976

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"Portrait of  

Edward Benjamin Britten"

Author Rinat Kuramshin

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten OM CH was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (1945).
He studied at the Royal College of Music in London.With the premiere of Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to international fame. Over the next 28 years, he wrote 14 more operas, establishing himself as one of the leading 20th-century composers in the genre. In addition to large-scale operas for Sadler’s Wells and Covent Garden, he wrote «chamber operas» for small forces, suitable for performance in venues of modest size. His most frequent and important muse was his personal and professional partner, the tenor Peter Pears. Britten was a celebrated pianist and conductor, performing many of his own works in concert and on record.

Together with Pears and the librettist and producer Eric Crozier, Britten founded the annual Aldeburgh Festival in 1948, and he was responsible for the creation of Snape Maltings concert hall in 1967. In his last year, he was the first composer to be given a life peerage.

Britten’s birthplace in Lowestoft, which was the Britten family home for over twenty years

John Piper’s Benjamin Britten memorial
window in the Church of St Peter and St
Paul, Aldeburgh

Benjamin Britten

Royal College of Music