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Britten birthday celebrated by 100,000 young voices

(November 2013)

On the afternoon of Benjamin Britten's centenary day, Friday 22 November, over 100,000 young voices around the globe celebrate the composer.

On 22 November 2013 young people across the world will sing Benjamin Britten's Friday Afternoons songs to celebrate his 100th birthday. In addition to 100,000 singers in the UK, many more thousands will join them across the globe, across ten time zones, as Friday afternoon tracks west from Melbourne to Beijing, Europe and the USA, ending on Santa Monica beach in California.

For more information on Friday Afternoons, including a virtual map and listing of all events taking place worldwide, please visit www.fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk. The web site will be live streaming and blogging during the afternoon itself and evening, featuring nine Friday Afternoons performances including the Aldeburgh event at Snape Maltings Concert Hall involving 800 children Participants around the globe are encouraged to upload video footage and photos of their performances onto the website.

Friday Afternoons is a set of 12 songs composed by Benjamin Britten between 1933 and 1935. The simple songs, with witty piano accompaniments, are dedicated to Britten's schoolmaster brother Robert, and the boys of Clive House preparatory school in Prestatyn - a school in which choir practice and singing lessons regularly took place on a Friday afternoon.

Among the most notable Friday Afternoons performances is the largest, at Bristol’s Colston Hall, where exactly 1913 children from Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus and 39 schools from the South West of England join the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Kirill Karabits. The BBC Radio 3 broadcasts from Aldeburgh include a ten minute insert live from MediaCityUK, Salford, including the premiere of new orchestrations of Friday Afternoons songs by Hywel Davies with 200 Manchester schoolchildren and the BBC Philharmonic. In the capital Friday Afternoons will be sung by the London Youth Choir at Middle Temple with project ambassador Suzi Digby and by young members of the London Symphony Orchestra's Discovery programme at LSO St Luke's.

The international singing project is run by Aldeburgh Music, founded by Britten himself, and has attracted the support of project ambassadors including: composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall; jazz legend Dame Cleo Laine; singer and broadcaster Aled Jones; and author and politician Floella Benjamin. From Aldeburgh in the East, to Belfast in the West, Inverness in the North and Jersey in the South - and from school assemblies to public performances with major orchestras and opera companies - Friday Afternoons is a fitting culmination of Britten100, the widest global celebration of a British composer ever.

> Read more about events over the Britten centenary weekend

> Visit our Britten Centenary shop

> Visit the Britten 100 website



> Further information on Work: Friday Afternoons



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