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Benjamin Britten

English Composer.

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor, and pianist; and one of the central figures of twentieth-century British classical music. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to international fame. Over the next nine years, he wrote six more operas, establishing himself as one of the leading twentieth-century composers in this genre.

Britten's interests as a composer were wide-ranging; he produced important music in such varied genres as orchestral, choral, solo vocal (much of it written for his life partner, tenor Peter Pears), chamber and instrumental, as well as film music. He also took a great interest in writing music for children and amateur performers, and was an outstanding pianist and conductor.


1.) "In place of the Frenchman's unquestioning faith, for example, there was Britten's agnosticism; and in contrast to the uxorious Messiaen, Britten was a homosexual: this, at a time when homosexual practices were still illegal in the United Kingdom." Andrew Ford, Illegal Harmonies: Music in the Modern Age, page 77.

2.) Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976) "His life partner, Peter Pears, would describe Britten as “an agnostic with a great love for Jesus Christ."

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