Benjamin Britten is the most widely performed British 20th century composer * Studied with Frank Bridge and at Royal College of Music * After the war founded a new English-language opera tradition, with works such as Peter Grimes, Billy Budd and The Turn of the Screw now established in the international repertoire * Craftsmanship and versatility produced works for every genre, from large-scale symphonic scores to songs and choral works * Recurring themes include conflicts between the outsider and society, innocence and experience, moral good and lurking evil, beauty and passion * Works written for leading soloists of day including Peter Pears, Janet Baker, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Mstislav Rostropovich and Julian Bream * Conducted classic accounts of his oeuvre on the Decca label
Works by Benjamin Britten include:
Les Illuminations (1939) for high voice and strings
Serenade (1943) for tenor, horn and strings
Peter Grimes (1945) Opera in three acts and a prologue
War Requiem (1961) for soloists, chorus, boys' choir, orchestra and chamber orchestra
Works by Britten up to 1963 are published by Boosey & Hawkes.
Works composed after 1963 are published by Faber Music.
Publications of music by Britten are available on sale from our online Music Shop.
The Britten Centenary was celebrated in 2013:
Promotion resources for musicans and programmers:
• "Britten Connections" – Thematic Guide to the Concert Works (2011) [1,2 MB]
• Orchestral Works – Commentary on the Orchestral Works (2010) [400 KB]
• Operas – Commentary on the Operas (2009) [20 MB]
• Choral Works - Repertoire Notes on the Choral Works (2012) [2.2 MB]
"Music for me is clarification; I try to clarify, to refine, to sensitize... My technique is to tear all the waste away; to achieve perfect clarity of expression, that is my aim." —Benjamin Britten