Benjamin Britten's Gresham school concert recreated

  • 26 May 2013
  • From the section Norfolk
Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears
Image caption Benjamin Britten (left) and Peter Pears lived together in Aldeburgh, Suffolk

A concert Benjamin Britten performed on a return to his old school after 34 years is being recreated in his honour.

Tenor Peter Pears and composer Britten, who lived together in Suffolk, performed at Gresham's in Holt, Norfolk, in 1964, after the headmaster at the time, Logie Bruce-Lockhart, persuaded Britten to return.

Mr Bruce-Lockhart, said Mr Pears' singing left a "great impression".

Many pupils who were at the original recital are returning to hear it again.

The tenor first collaborated with Britten in the late 1930s and the pair went on to make music together for nearly 40 years. Britten died in 1976.

The school held a performance of Britten's famous War Requiem in March as part of the composer's centenary birthday celebrations.

Film crews were also at the school in 2012 recording the new movie Benjamin Britten - Peace and Conflict, detailing the Suffolk composer's time at Gresham's between 1928 and 1930.

Recalling the 1964 concert, which included songs by Purcell and Handel and Britten's own Winter Words, Mr Bruce-Lockhart said: "Although it was relatively remote from my study, his [Pears'] practising of scales and the clarity of his words made a great impression on the usual queue of boys outside my study and our guests in the drawing room."

The new recital takes place on the Big School's stage on 31 May.

As well as Britten, other famous names in the arts world to have studied at Gresham's include Bafta-winning actress Olivia Coleman and film director Stephen Frears.

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