Benjamin Britten (English composer, conductor, and pianist)

~ Person

Legal name: Edward Benjamin Britten


Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976, aged 63) was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945).

Born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, the son of a dentist, Britten showed talent from an early age. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London and privately with the composer Frank Bridge. Britten first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy was Born in 1934. With the premiere of Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to international fame. Over the next 28 years, he wrote 14 more operas, establishing himself as one of the leading 20th-century composers in the genre. In addition to large-scale operas for Sadler's Wells and Covent Garden, he wrote chamber operas for small forces, suitable for performance in venues of modest size. Among the best known of these is The Turn of the Screw (1954). Recurring themes in his operas include the struggle of an outsider against a hostile society and the corruption of innocence.

Britten's other works range from orchestral to choral, solo vocal, chamber and instrumental as well as film music. He took a great interest in writing music for children and amateur performers, including the opera Noye's Fludde, a Missa Brevis, and the song collection Friday Afternoons. He often composed with particular performers in mind. His most frequent and important muse was his personal and professional partner, the tenor Peter Pears; others included Kathleen Ferrier, Jennifer Vyvyan, Janet Baker, Dennis Brain, Julian Bream, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Osian Ellis and Mstislav Rostropovich. Britten was a celebrated pianist and conductor, performing many of his own works in concert and on record. He also performed and recorded works by others, such as Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Mozart symphonies, and song cycles by Schubert and Schumann.

Together with Pears and the librettist and producer Eric Crozier, Britten founded the annual Aldeburgh Festival in 1948, and he was responsible for the creation of Snape Maltings concert hall in 1967. In his last year, he was the first composer to be given a life peerage.

Continue reading at Wikipedia... Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license


Unspecified type

1990Britten: The Canticles / A Birthday HanselBenjamin Britten1
1990Saint Nicolas / Rejoice in the LambBritten1
1991The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Sea Interludes (Peter Grimes) / Courtly Dances (Gloriana) / Suite on English Folk Tunes (A Time There Was)Benjamin Britten; William Boughton, English Symphony Orchestra1
2013Saint NicolasBenjamin Britten; Andrew Kennedy, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Britten Sinfonia, Stephen Cleobury1
2014War RequiemBenjamin Britten; Bachchor Karlsruhe, Cantus Juvenum Karlsruhe, Camerata 20001
Britten: Choral Music (Corydon Singers)Benjamin Britten1


2017Cello Suites 1 & 2 / Symphony for Cello and OrchestraBritten; Rostropovich1


1963Twentieth Century Church MusicBairstow, Britten, Howells, Ireland, Orr, Tippett, Vaughan Williams, Walton; Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, George Guest1
1963War RequiemBenjamin Britten; Galina Vishnevskaya, Peter Pears, Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau7
1965Rejoice in the Lamb / Missa brevis / A Ceremony of CarolsBenjamin Britten; Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, Marisa Robles, George Guest1
1966A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1966 studio cast)Britten; Alfred Deller, Elizabeth Harwood, Peter Pears, Thomas Hemsley, Josephine Veasey, Heather Harper, Stephen Terry, John Shirley‐Quirk, Helen Watts, Owen Brannigan, Norman Lumsden, Kenneth MacDonald, David Kelly, Robert Tear, Keith Raggett, London Symphony, Benjamin Britten2
1973Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf - Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the OrchestraProkofiev, Britten; André Previn, Mia Farrow, London Symphony Orchestra1
1973Peter und der Wolf / Orchesterführer für junge LeuteSergej Prokofjew / Benjamin Britten3
1974Bernstein: Chichester Psalms - Britten: Rejoice the Lamb & Festival Te Deum (Choir of King's College, Cambridge)Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten & Choir of King’s College, Cambridge1
1976Four Sea Interludes / Passacaglia From “Peter Grimes” / Sinfonia da RequiemBritten; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn2
1979Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings / Les IlluminationsBenjamin Britten; Robert Tear, Dale Clevenger, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Carlo Maria Giulini1
1979The Crown of AriadneLomanSchafer / Britten / Tailleferre1
1981Britten: Scottish Balad / Martinů: Concerto for Two Pianos and OrchestraBritten, Martinů; Joshua Pierce, Dorothy Jonas, The Luxembourg Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ettore Stratta1
1981Our Hunting Fathers (Peter Pears, Helen Watts Acc. Benjamin Britten)Benjamin Britten1
1982A Ceremony of Carols, op. 28 / Te Deum / Hymns to: St Peter, The Virgin, St CeciliaBenjamin Britten; Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford, Frances Kelly, Francis Grier1
1982A Ceremony of CarolsBenjamin Britten1
1982Piano Concerto No. 20 / Piano Concerto No. 27Mozart; English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten, Clifford Curzon4
1982Symphonic Suite Gloriana / Prelude and Dances from the Prince of the Pagodas (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra cond. Uri Segal)Benjamin Britten1
1983Respighi: La Boutique fantasque / Britten: Soirées musicales / Matinées musicalesRossini/Respighi, Rossini/Britten; National Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Bonynge1
1983War RequiemBritten; Elisabeth Söderström, Robert Tear, Thomas Allen, CBSO Chorus, Boys of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle1
1984British Council 50th Anniversary Concert-1/2Stan Tracey / Benjamin Britten / Gordon Langford1
1984Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Four Sea Interludes / Men of GoodwillBritten; Sir Neville Marriner, Minnesota Orchestra1
1985Symphony for Cello and Orchestra / Death in Venice (Suite)Benjamin Britten; Raphael Wallfisch, English Chamber Orchestra, Steuart Bedford1
1985Peter GrimesBenjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden3
1985Works for 2 PianosBritten, Bartók, Stravinsky; Sviatoslav Richter, Vassili Lobanov1
1986Britten: Four Sea Interludes / Passacaglia / Bridge: The Sea / Bax: On the Sea ShoreBenjamin Britten, Frank Bridge, Sir Arnold Bax; Ulster Orchestra, Vernon Handley1
1986Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf / Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Gloriana Courtly DancesProkofiev, Britten; André Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra1
1986Serenade / Les Illuminations / NocturneBenjamin Britten; Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten2
1987A Serenade to MusicVaughan Williams, Elgar, Britten; The New York Virtuosi Chamber Symphony, Kenneth Klein1
1987Britten Choral Music From King's College, CambridgeBritten, King's College Choir, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks . Philip Ledger1
1987Choral Music From King’s College, CambridgeBenjamin Britten; Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks, Philip Ledger1
1987Music for Voice and PianoBenjamin Britten1
1987Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata / Schumann: Fünf Stücke im Volkston / Debussy: Cello SonataSchubert, Schumann, Debussy; Rostropovich, Britten2
1987The Complete Music for String Quartet Volume 1Benjamin Britten; Endellion Quartet, Nicholas Logie1
1988The Three Cello SuitesBritten; Timothy Hugh1
1988Prokofiev: Classical Symphony / Bizet: Symphony in C / Britten: Simple SymphonyProkofiev, Bizet, Britten; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra12
1988A.M.D.G. / Hymn to St Cecilia / A Boy Was Born / A Shepherd's CarolBritten; Terry Edwards, London Sinfonietta Chorus, Choristers of St Paul's Cathedral1
1988Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge / Tchaikovsky: Serenade for strings / Mozart: Divertimento K 137Mozart, Britten, Tchaikovsky; The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Iona Brown1
1988Britten, Shostakovich: Sonatas for Cello and Piano / Prokofiev: Ballad, op. 15Britten, Shostakovich, Prokofiev; Julian Lloyd Webber, John McCabe1
1988Ceremonies of CarolsBenjamin Britten, Francis Poulenc, Ottorino Respighi; The Philadelphia Singers1
1988Neil MacKie Sings BrittenBritten; Neil Mackie1
1988Paul BunyanBenjamin Britten; Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra of the Plymouth Music Series, Philip Brunelle2
1988Unaccompanied Choral MusicBenjamin Britten; London Sinfonietta Chorus, Choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral, Terry Edwards1
1989Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Symphony for Cello and Orchestra / Four Sea Interludes from "Peter Grimes" / Pärt: Cantus in Memory of Benjamin BrittenBenjamin Britten, Arvo Pärt; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Neeme Järvi1
1989Les Illuminations / Quatre chansons françaises / Serenade for Tenor, Horn and StringsBritten; Felicity Lott, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Michael Thompson, Scottish National Orchestra, Bryden Thomson1
1989Saint Nicolas / Hymn to Saint CeciliaBenjamin Britten; Corydon Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Matthew Best, Anthony Rolfe Johnson2
1989Albert Herring (1964 studio cast)Benjamin Britten2
1989Billy BuddBenjamin Britten1
1989Cello Symphony / Sinfonia da RequiemBenjamin Britten; Мстислав Ростропович, Benjamin Britten1
1989Curlew RiverBritten; English Opera Group, Peter Pears, John Shirley‐Quirk, Benjamin Britten1
1989Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge / Les Illuminations / LachrymaeBenjamin Britten1
1989LCO 4: BrittenBenjamin Britten; London Chamber Orchestra1
1989Barber: Cello Concerto / Britten: Symphony for Cello and OrchestraBarber, Britten; Yo‐Yo Ma, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman1
1989Danny Boy: Grainger FavouritesPercy Grainger; Peter Pears, John Shirley‐Quirk, Ambrosian Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten, Steuart Bedford2
1989Les Illuminations / Bridge Variations / Simple SymphonyBenjamin Britten1
1989Music for Oboe & StringsBax, Bliss, Britten; Pamela Woods, Audubon Quartet1
1989Mendelssohn: Vom Himmel hoch / Britten: A Ceremony of Carols / Saint-Saëns: Oratorio de NoëlMendelssohn, Britten, Saint‐Saëns; Dresdner Kreuzchor, Dresdner Philharmonie, Martin Flämig1
1989Sonata for Cello & PianoR. Strauss, Britten; Yo‐Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax2
1989Serge Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf / Benjamin Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the OrchestraSerge Prokofiev, Benjamin Britten; Lorin Maazel, Alec Clunes2
1989Tippett: The Blue Guitar / Britten: Nocturnal / Schafer: Le Cri de MerlinTippett, Britten, Schafer; Norbert Kraft1
1989War Requiem, op. 66Britten; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Robert Shaw2
1989Warlock: Capriol Suite / Butterworth: A Shropshire LadWarlock, Butterworth, Britten; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Marriner1
1990The Complete Suites for Solo CelloBenjamin Britten; Torleif Thedéen2
1990Death in Venice (1974 studio cast)Britten2
1990The Turn of the ScrewBenjamin Britten1
1990Michelangelo Sonnets / Canticle 1 "My Beloved Is Mine" / Winter Words / The Salley Gardens / The Trees They Grow So High / Little Sir William / O Waly, WalyBenjamin Britten; Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Graham Johnson2
1990Pierino e il lupo / Guida del giovane all'orchestraSerge Prokofiev / Benjamin Britten1
1990Brynjar Hoff: Great Music for OboeRobert Schumann, Trygve Madsen, Benjamin Britten, Franz Reizenstein; Brynjar Hoff, Kaare Ørnung1
1990Christmas Oratorio / A Ceremony of CarolsSaint‐Saëns, Benjamin Britten; Dresden Kreuzchor, Dresden Philharmonic, Martin Flämig2
1990Szenen aus Goethes FaustSchumann; Benjamin Britten, Fischer‐Dieskau, Harwood, Pears, Shirley‐Quirk2
1990String Quartets 2 & 3 / SinfoniettaBritten1
1990The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Simple Symphony / Variations on a Theme of Frank BridgeBritten; London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten1
1990The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Four Sea InterludesBritten; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult1
1990The Burning Fiery FurnaceBritten; English Opera Group, Philip Ledger, Benjamin Britten1
1990Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, op. 10 / Young Apollo, op. 16 / Lachrymae, op. 48a / Simple Symphony, op. 4Benjamin Britten; I Musici de Montréal, Yuli Turovsky, Rivka Golani1
1991Chamber MusicBenjamin Britten1
1991Britten / Hindemith / Reger / SchnittkeBritten, Hindemith, Reger, Schnittke; Yuri Bashmet, Moscow Soloists1
1991The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge / Four Sea Interludes & Passacaglia from Peter GrimesBritten; BBC Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Davis3
1991Britten: Cantata misericordium / Deus in adjutorium meum / Chorale on an Old French Carol / Finzi: Requiem da camera / Holst: Psalms 86 & 148Britten, Finzi, Holst; John Mark Ainsley, Stephen Varcoe, The Britten Singers, City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox2
1991Britten: Cello Symphony / Bridge: OrationBritten, Bridge; Steven Isserlis, City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox1
1991Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Simple Symphony / Prokofiev: Classical SymphonyBritten, Prokofiev1
1991Peter GrimesBritten; Jon Vickers, Heather Harper, Jonathan Summers, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Sir Colin Davis4
1991Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf / Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Ravel: Mother GooseSergei Prokofiev, Benjamin Britten, Maurice Ravel; Alec McCowen, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink1
1991String Quartets / Simple SymphonyBenjamin Britten; Britten Quartet1
1991Streichquartette: Nr. 2, op. 36 / Nr. 3, op. 94Benjamin Britten; Auryn Quartet1
1991WinterreiseFranz Schubert; Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten3
1991War Requiem / Sinfonia da Requiem / Ballad of HeroesBenjamin Britten; London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Richard Hickox1
1992Sinfonietta, op. 1 / Serenade, op. 31 / Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal / Nocturne, op. 60Benjamin Britten; Christoph Prégardien, Ib Lanzky-Otto, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Osmo Vänskä1
1992Tavener: The Protecting Veil / Britten: Cello Suite No 3 / Tavener: ThrinosJohn Tavener, Britten; Steven Isserlis, London Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvenski2
1992The Five CanticlesBenjamin Britten; Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Michael Chance, Alan Opie, Roger Vignoles, Sioned Williams, Michael Thompson1
1992Variations & Fugue on a Theme of Purcell / Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes / Suite on English Folk TunesBritten; Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic2
1992War RequiemBenjamin Britten; John Eliot Gardiner, NDR‐Sinfonieorchester2
1992Sinfonia da Requiem / Gloriana Suite / Sea InterludesBenjamin Britten; London Symphony Orchestra, Steuart Bedford2
1992Serenade, Winter Words, Michelangelo SonnetsBenjamin Britten; Peter Pears, Dennis Brain1
1992Stravinsky: Petrushka / Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf / Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the OrchestraStravinsky, Prokofiev, Britten; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Karel Ančerl1

Showing official release groups by this artist (Show all release groups / Show official various artist release groups / Show all various artist release groups)