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Barbican Britten

Barbican Britten is an unmissable two-week celebration bringing fresh life to a huge range of Britten’s work through imaginative, daring and sensational performances. It is a must for anyone who loves Britten – or wants to know him better.

The author, documentary-maker and Britten expert John Bridcut is central to this centenary retrospective. When we caught up with him for a podcast he told us how he is seeking to illuminate this great composer: ‘Britten is perhaps the best-documented composer of the 20th century because he never threw anything away. His archive in Suffolk is full of great things. There are 80,000 letters there that he wrote and received, there are his scores, recordings and diaries. This is an incredible treasure trove for anybody who wants to explore his life. For me, in the case of Britten, the life illuminates the music. I always like to get inside the composer’s mind, to work out why he wrote the pieces he did at that particular time, what the influences were on him, the influences from outside the musical world and what was going on in his personal life. All this to me helps build up a picture which enables you to appreciate the music.’

Visit to listen to the full interview and find out more information about the celebration.

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With generous support from the Britten-Pears Foundation

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