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Benjamin Britten: A Life For Music PB

Benjamin Britten: A Life For Music PB

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Benjamin Britten: A Life For Music 
Neil Powell (Author)

Benjamin Britten was the greatest English composer of the twentieth century and one of the outstanding musicians of his age.

Born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 1913, Britten was the youngest child of a dentist father and amateur musician mother. After studying at the Royal College of Music, he became a vital part of London’s creative and intellectual life during the 1930s, collaborating with W. H. Auden and meeting his lifelong partner, the tenor Peter Pears. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Britten and Pears were already in America, earning a precarious living as freelance musicians before re-crossing the Atlantic by ship in the perilous days of 1942.

But the east coast of England was where Britten, as he himself said, belonged: this was where he returned to write his most famous opera, Peter Grimes, and – with Pears and Eric Crozier – to found the Aldeburgh Festival in 1948. In the years that followed, his worldwide reputation grew steadily, helped by a busy schedule of international tours and, for many, crowned by the extraordinary success of his War Requiem. Meanwhile, his festival went from strength to strength, its progress symbolised by the opening of Snape Maltings Concert Hall in 1967.

Britten was a mass of paradoxes: a solitary, introspective thinker who came to ebullient life in the company of young people, for whom he composed some of his most memorable works; a man of the political left who was on the friendliest terms with members of the royal family; a composer inspired by some of the twentieth century’s deepest preoccupations who combined innovation with a profound understanding of musical tradition. Devoted to his friends, protégés and fellow musicians, he was, above all, someone who lived for music.

Neil Powell’s book is the landmark biography for Britten’s centenary year: a subtle and moving portrait of a brilliant, complex and ultimately loveable man.

Running in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon between 21 February and 6 April 2024, Ben and Imo tells the story of the creative relationship between composer Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst, daughter of Gustav Holst, and an accomplished musician in her own right.

Paperback: 544 pages
ISBN: 9780099537366

Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm

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EU Delivery Information

There may be local duty and/or taxes payable on goods delivered outside the UK. The Royal Shakespeare Company is not liable for paying these charges.

Customs charges and policies vary widely from country to country. Orders for international shipping will be subject to import duties and taxes levied on arrival in their destination country. You are liable for any additional charges for customs clearance and if a package is refused and has to be returned to us, you will also be liable for the cost of this. If you are unsure of charges and regulations which may apply to your order, please contact your local customs office for further information. Generally, customs forms for internal packages will list the value of the contents of your order by product type.

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