Benjamin Britten Biography (BBC)
Born in Suffolk on 22 November 1913 (propitiously, the feast day of St Cecilia, patron saint of music) Benjamin Britten began piano lessons aged five, composing songs for his mother by the age of ten. At 13 he began composition studies with Frank Bridge before entering the Royal College of Music in 1930. His documentary scores for the GPO (General Post Office) Film Unit brought him into collaboration with W. H. Auden, a liberating force, and in 1937 he not only attracted international attention with his Frank Bridge Variations at the Salzburg Festival, but also met the tenor Peter Pears, who would remain a lifelong partner and vocal interpreter.
Britten revitalised English opera with his first stage triumph Peter Grimes (1945), launching the Aldeburgh Festival three years later. He performed often as a conductor and pianist, and though he wrote a significant number of chamber and choral works (among them three string quartets, and the War Requiem, 1961) it is principally for his vocal and especially opera output that he continues to be remembered.
Benjamin Britten Biography (Wikipedia)
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) 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).
Born in Suffolk, the son of a dentist, Britten showed talent from an early age. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London and privately with the composer Frank Bridge. Britten first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy was Born in 1934. 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. Among the best known of these is The Turn of the Screw (1954). Recurring themes in the operas are the struggle of an outsider against a hostile society, and the corruption of innocence.
- Britten: Les Illuminationshttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02vt3gc.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02vt3gc.jpg2015-06-28T11:04:00.000ZBuilding a Library compares available versions of Britten's Les Illuminations and makes a recommendation.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02vt3hx
Britten: Les Illuminations
- Britten: Four Sea Interludes (extract)http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02mqynm.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02mqynm.jpg2015-04-23T09:00:00.000ZAn extract from Britten's Four Sea Interludeshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02mqynt
Britten: Four Sea Interludes (extract)
- Words and Musichttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01zvvs2.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01zvvs2.jpg2014-05-27T16:32:00.000ZCharles Hazlewood explores how composers have approached setting words to music.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01zvvs7
Words and Music
- Benjamin Brittenhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01ynjfg.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01ynjfg.jpg2014-05-07T16:03:00.000ZDonald Macleod on two influences in Britten's music: Suffolk and his partner Peter Pears.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01ynjg5
- Britten: Owen Wingrave - Opera Guidehttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vrjy5.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vrjy5.jpg2014-03-19T13:53:00.000ZA guide to Benjamin Britten's Owen Wingrave featuring the voices of Britten experts.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01vrk13
Britten: Owen Wingrave - Opera Guide
- Britten: The Turn of the Screw - Opera Guidehttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vqmyy.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vqmyy.jpg2014-03-19T10:31:00.000ZA guide to Britten's The Turn of the Screw featuring the voices of Britten experts.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01vqn15
Britten: The Turn of the Screw - Opera Guide
Benjamin Britten Performances
Past BBC Events
Prom 45 Proms 1971
Prom 05 Proms 1967
Prom 03 Proms 1967
Prom 09 - Fiftieth Anniversary of the First World War Proms 1964
Prom 47 - Benjamin Britten's Fiftieth Year Proms 1963
Latest Benjamin Britten News
Surprising facts about BBC theme tunes you've heard hundreds of timesThey're some of the most recognisable pieces of music ever written, but how much do you actually know about them?
Audio & Video from Similar Artists
Scarlatti: Sonata in G major kk 454
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 3 'Pastoral Symphony'
Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending
Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music (extract)
Janine Jansen talks about Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5
Vaughan Williams and the Lost Generation
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5