Benjamin Britten

(1913 - 1976)



‘I am sure that Britten’s time is not yet come; his greatness is not yet realised in full measure by the world. But his time is coming, like that of Mahler and Shostakovich before him.’
Mstislav Rostropovich

When Rostropovich was writing, Britten’s time was still to come. With the arrival of his centenary in 2013, perhaps we can finally say it has arrived. With the world’s most famous orchestras, opera companies, festivals and conductors celebrating Britten’s music in over 140 cities across 30 countries (significant premieres of his works are happening in Brazil, Chile, Palestine, New Zealand and China), Britten’s reach will be truly global. Not only that, but the centenary celebrations will extend to books, films, dance, radio, and special television programming, recordings, exhibitions, conferences, online initiatives for children, heritage trails, and even a new 50p coin bearing his profile. This is undoubtedly the most widely celebrated anniversary of any British composer, ever.

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