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  1. April 18, 2014

    France’s festival of Britten

    The Opéra de Lyon is in the middle of a Benjamin Britten blitz. A poster emblazoned across the façade of the company’s home...

  2. April 1, 2014

    Louise Alder and Ligeti Quartet, Wigmore Hall, London – review

    There was no opera whatsoever on the programme. Most of the musicians were string players. So why did this performance – the...

  1. March 27, 2014

    Prince of the Pagodas, Coliseum, London – review

    It just doesn’t work well enough in the theatre, either musically or as narrative. From the very first, when John Cranko...

  2. January 3, 2014

    Benjamin Britten: Britten to America

    This collection of previously unrecorded radio and theatre music makes an unexpected postscript to the Britten centenary....

  3. November 8, 2013

    Britten and Alston, Barbican, London

    Richard Alston’s musical sensibilities must be a guiding fact in any survey of his work, from his early steps – the...

  4. October 11, 2013

    Benjamin Britten’s home in Suffolk opens to visitors and scholars

    The voice, formal but friendly, has a baritonal timbre, with a plummy accent in the well-bred English tradition. The speaker...

  5. October 4, 2013

    Britten weekend, Southbank Centre, London – review

    Is Peter Grimes a self-portrait by Benjamin Britten? Ever since his death in 1976, it has been customary to categorise...

  6. September 11, 2013

    Paul Bunyan, Peacock Theatre, London – review

    Visionary it ain’t. You can’t even excuse Paul Bunyan on the basis of its eclectic music. The Broadway operetta that...

  7. September 3, 2013

    BBC Proms: Orchestre de Paris, Royal Albert Hall, London – review

    Although the celebration of Wagner’s bicentenary has been the most impressive feature of this year’s Proms, Benjamin...

  8. August 30, 2013

    Britten: War Requiem; Peter Grimes

    These recordings could hardly be more different in their impact. Peter Grimes, recorded at the opening concerts of this...

  9. August 28, 2013

    All the best: Winterreise

    Schubert virtually invented the song-cycle as an art form. With Winterreise he also perfected it. He had a precedent in...

  10. July 5, 2013

    Barometer: travel. Martello Tower AA

    Built around 1810 to defend against the threat of invasion by Napoleon, Martello Tower AA in the tiny Suffolk hamlet of...

  11. June 23, 2013

    Gloriana, Royal Opera House, London – review

    Of the many centenary tributes to Benjamin Britten, this was always going to be the most challenging. Sixty years after...

  12. June 21, 2013

    These New Puritans, Heaven, London

    These New Puritans take their name from The Fall’s 1980 song “New Puritan”, in which Salford’s wayward punk seer Mark E...

  13. June 18, 2013

    Church Parables, Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk, UK – review

    Although it is 35 years since Benjamin Britten died, his spirit lives powerfully on at his house in Aldeburgh. To mark his...

  14. June 9, 2013

    Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, UK – review

    Some places live on powerfully through the work of creative artists. Dickens’s London, the Lake District as viewed through...

  15. June 7, 2013

    Landscape with visions of Britten

    “A bit Dad’s Army” is how Abigail Lane describes Snap, the contemporary art exhibition attached to the world-renowned...

  16. May 23, 2013

    Cinema reviews: Epic, The Hangover Part III, The Big Wedding and more

    There’s design fervour and intense colour in Epic, a 3D computer animation from the team behind the notably profitable Ice...

  17. April 26, 2013

    Oke stands tall for the best of Britten

    Whatever else we may hear during this year’s Benjamin Britten centenary, the work that remains most closely associated with...

  18. April 26, 2013

    A young person’s guide to the choir

    They sit in neat rows, 40-odd pupils from St Pancras Catholic Primary School in Ipswich – some looking as though they’d...

  19. April 17, 2013

    The Turn of the Screw, Barbican, London – review

    The death of Sir Colin Davis at the weekend robbed this concert of its esteemed conductor. Originally planned to mark the...

  20. April 12, 2013

    Vengerov’s Britten, Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

    The Britten centenary is giving us all sorts of opportunity to reassess music that is either little known or underestimated,...

  21. March 1, 2013

    Follow the music

    “The Borough” in the English composer Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes is a bleak place. Based on part of a poem by George...

  22. February 24, 2013

    Philharmonia Orchestra/Ashkenazy, Royal Festival Hall, London

    This is Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s first season as musical director of the Philharmonia Orchestra’s “Music of Today”...

  23. February 8, 2013

    Variations on Britten

    Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century, by Paul Kildea, Allen Lane, RRP£30, 688 pages Benjamin Britten: A Life...

  24. February 1, 2013

    Matthew Barley: Around Britten

    This will surely go down as one of the more offbeat centenary tributes to Britten. Barley, an unclassifiable cellist, builds...

  25. January 25, 2013

    A walk with the FT: In Britten’s footsteps

    One moment we are listening to widgeon ducks whistling from the wetlands to our right. The next we are stopped in our tracks...

  26. January 24, 2013

    John Adams, St Luke’s, London

    While we are waiting for John Adams’s latest work, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, which the Los Angeles...

  27. January 18, 2013

    Blood, tears and musical scores

    Like a violent centrifuge, the middle of the 20th century threw music into chaos, scattering composers in all directions...

  28. December 30, 2012

    How do you top 2012?

    A fter the Olympic party of 2012, will 2013 be the year of the Olympic hangover? In the wake of four years of build-up, and...

  29. November 16, 2012

    Great Britten

    My first contact with the music of Benjamin Britten was at school. Aged nine, I sang “The Plough Boy”, a song whose tripping...

  30. October 7, 2012

    Albert Herring, Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London

    In the years immediately after the second world war Benjamin Britten responded to the mood of austerity by focusing on...

  31. June 11, 2012

    Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk, UK

    It would have been an unusual coup de théâtre. To give his sea voyage to the Orkney Islands a memorable send-off, guitarist...

  32. June 6, 2012

    The Prince of the Pagodas, Royal Opera House, London

    From the first, in 1956, when Benjamin Britten made the score for John Cranko’s dances and his addled scenario, there was...

  33. May 11, 2012

    World class

    These were no ordinary auditions. Hundreds of hopeful young musicians from all over the world commandeered kitchens,...

  34. May 4, 2012

    Battle of Britten

    On May 30 1962, more than two decades after a devastating air raid left Coventry Cathedral in ruins, its rebuilding was...

  35. March 2, 2012

    Richard Alston, Sadler’s Wells, London

    You will travel a long way before finding another choreographer as musically apt and adventurous as Richard Alston. From his...

  36. September 22, 2011

    Weather strikes a chord with composers

    Britain’s rotten weather has been blamed for everything from sudden plunges in high street sales to a national predilection...

  37. August 16, 2011

    Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra/Gergiev, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

    It is not only in concert halls that the finest orchestras are to be found. Warmly expressive strings, forward but not...

  38. August 15, 2011

    The Turn of the Screw, Glyndebourne, UK

    Only two years remain until Benjamin Britten’s centenary in 2013. It is unlucky for him that it should coincide with the...

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