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 his operas include the struggle of an outsider against a hostile society and the corruption of innocence.
- The intoxication of a single kiss expressed in music by Purcellhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04lkc36.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04lkc36.jpg2016-12-15T15:56:00.000ZCarolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton perform Purcell’s Sweeter than roses, realised by Benjamin Britten.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04lkc4c
The intoxication of a single kiss expressed in music by Purcell
- Côr y Cwm - This Little Babe (Ceremony of Carols) by Benjamin Brittenhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04lfy8s.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04lfy8s.jpg2016-12-14T17:18:00.000ZCôr y Cwm perform Britten's This Little Babe at the Choir of the Year 2016 Grand Finalhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04lg0rs
Côr y Cwm - This Little Babe (Ceremony of Carols) by Benjamin Britten
- Power of 3: The Third Programme and Benjamin Britten (56/70)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04hc9p7.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04hc9p7.jpg2016-11-22T14:00:00.000ZMedia historian Prof. David Hendy looks at significant moments in Radio 3’s history.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04hc9th
Power of 3: The Third Programme and Benjamin Britten (56/70)
- A beautiful Irish folksong: The Last Rose of Summerhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p043pv9z.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p043pv9z.jpg2016-08-05T11:19:00.000ZBBC New Generation Artist Kathryn Rudge sings Britten's arrangement of the traditional folksong live on In Tune, accompanied by the pianist Christopher Glynn.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p043py47
A beautiful Irish folksong: The Last Rose of Summer
- Britten: Les Illuminationshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02vt3gc.jpghttps://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.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02vt3hx
Britten: Les Illuminations
- Britten: Four Sea Interludes (extract)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02mqynm.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02mqynm.jpg2015-04-23T09:00:00.000ZAn extract from Britten's Four Sea Interludeshttps://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02mqynt
Britten: Four Sea Interludes (extract)
- Words and Musichttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01zvvs2.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01zvvs2.jpg2014-05-27T16:32:00.000ZCharles Hazlewood explores how composers have approached setting words to music.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01zvvs7
Words and Music
- Benjamin Brittenhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01ynjfg.jpghttps://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.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01ynjg5
Benjamin Britten Tracks
Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes (feat. Peter Donohoe & Philippe Schartz) (BBC NOW 2016-17 Season)
Past BBC Events
Proms 1971: Prom 45
Proms 1967: Prom 05
Proms 1967: Prom 03
Proms 1964: Prom 09 - Fiftieth Anniversary of the First World War
Proms 1963: Prom 47 - Benjamin Britten's Fiftieth Year
Latest Benjamin Britten News
Performances & Interviews from Similar Artists
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The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc
Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony
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James Gilchrist performs two of Vaughan Williams's Songs of Travel live on In Tune from London's Southbank Centre
Jessica Hynes' emotional Essential Classics interview
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 3 'Pastoral Symphony'
Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending
Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music (extract)