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    1. June 24, 2014

      Winterreise, Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk, UK – review

      In video footage shot in 1968, Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears perform excerpts from Winterreise, Schubert’s 1828 song...

    2. June 17, 2014

      San Francisco Symphony, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco – review

      Michael Tilson Thomas may have defied the calendar by producing a Benjamin Britten centennial festival a year late, but he...

    1. June 17, 2014

      Aldeburgh Festival 2014, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, UK – review

      It would be very predictable if the Aldeburgh Festival were to focus every year on the music of its founder, Benjamin...

    2. June 16, 2014

      Aldeburgh Festival 2014, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, UK – review

      As a coastal county, Suffolk has faced its fair share of activity in wartime. During the first world war Ipswich and...

    3. June 2, 2014

      Peter Grimes, Grange Park, Hampshire – review

      Here was an unusual sight. After so many productions that have reimagined Peter Grimes in abstract or expressionist...

    4. May 30, 2014

      British composers and the English landscape

      The composer Richard Skelton walks to work. Every day he leaves his cottage, located deep within the fell lands of Cumbria...

    5. May 23, 2014

      Pierre-Laurent Aimard on Aldeburgh and Britten

      Ever since Pierre-Laurent Aimard took on the role of artistic director at the Aldeburgh Festival in 2009, he has been...

    6. May 16, 2014

      Britten’s ‘Owen Wingrave’ at Aldeburgh Festival

      Has it ever been easier to be a pacifist? Neocon visionaries aside, there is scant appetite for war in western democracies....

    7. May 2, 2014

      1930s Violin Concertos Vol 1: Barber, Hartmann, Berg et al – review

      The 1930s saw a sudden flourishing of concertos for violin. In this selection, the first of a planned series, Shaham asks...

    8. 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...

    9. 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...

    10. 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...

    11. 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....

    12. 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...

    13. 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...

    14. 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...

    15. 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...

    16. 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...

    17. 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...

    18. 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...

    19. 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...

    20. 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...

    21. 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...

    22. 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...

    23. 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...

    24. 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...

    25. 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...

    26. 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...

    27. 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...

    28. 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...

    29. 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,...

    30. 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...

    31. 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”...

    32. 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...

    33. 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...

    34. 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...

    35. 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...

    36. 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...

    37. 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...

    38. 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...

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