Benjamin Britten was one of Britain's greatest
composers and musicians. He was a prolific composer (see works list), contributing works in many forms. He is especially
known for his operas and other vocal works, many of which he
composed for his partner Peter Pears. He was also an extremely
sensitive accompanist and conductor of his own works and the
works of other composers.
Brief List of Major Events and Awards
1913 - Born 22 November (St. Cecilia's
1919 - Begins composing.
1928 - Begins regular composition lessons
with Frank Bridge.
1930 - Begins studies at the Royal College
of Music with John Ireland (composition) and Arthur
1934 - His father dies. Meets Peter Pears
1935 - Works with the G.P.O. as composer.
Meets W. H. Auden.
1936 - Signs a publishing contract with
Boosey and Hawkes. Joins the staff of the G.P.O. Film
1937 - Mother dies. Friendship with Peter
1939 - Sails with Pears to America.
1941 - Awarded Library of Congress Medal
for services to chamber music.
1942 - Returns to England. Conscientious
objectors' tribunal. He is exempted from military
1948 - First Aldeburgh Festival.
1953 - Created Companion of Honour.
1956 - Hears Gamelan music (See The
Prince of the Pagodas). Attends Japanese
Noh play (See Curlew River).
1957 - Elected honorary member of American
Academy of Arts and Letters.
1960 - Meets Dmitri Shostakovich and
1964 - Aspen Award. Gold Medal of the
Royal Philharmonic Society.
1965 - Appointed member of the Order of
Merit. Faber becomes Britten's new publisher.
1966 - Abdominal operation.
1967 - Queen Elizabeth II opens the
Maltings concert hall at Snape.
1969 - The Maltings burns down.
1970 - The Maltings re-opens.
1973 - Operation to replace heart valve.
1974 - Ravel Prize.
1976 - Is created Life Peer. Dies 4
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Last update - Monday, 16 February 1998