Benjamin Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976)

Britten is one of my favourite composers, not only because he wrote so much beautiful music for tenor, but also for being an important part of my life as a singer. The very first opera role I sang was in the childrens opera The Golden Vanity. And the biggest role I sang as a boy soprano was also among the last things I did as soprano, creating the role Miles in the ghost story opera The Turn of the Screw (Stockholm Royal Opera 1993).

He also fascinates me since he wrote so well in all different categories as a composer: He is famous for his operas, and of course for his song cycles. But he is equally famous for his orchestral works, his church music, and his chamber music. He wrote highly complicated music, but also a lot of music well suited for children to perform. He was very thorough in adjusting his music to suit the instrument he was writing for, and is well-known for writing music to some of the foremost musicians of his time: guitarist Julian Bream, horn player Dennis Brain and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, to name a few.

Britten was also a very talented musician, and made numerous performances as a pianist, often together with his life companion Peter Pears. He was also a significant conductor, premiering many of his own works.

He is in a way a 20th century Mozart.

Videos on Youtube

Here is a tip about an interesting documentary that you can watch on Youtube:

Benjamin Britten: A Time There Was (1979)

 

There is also interview with Britten were he tells about how he sees his role as a composer in…

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Me and Britten

My first main role in an opera was singing the 

Cabin boy in The Golden Vanity 

At Stockholm Concert Hall with my class from Adolf Fredrik Music School. I was 11 years old. 

 

In the Adolf Fredrik Boys Choir we…

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