Celebrating Benjamin Britten’s 100th Birthday

Benjamin Britten 1913 - 1976

Benjamin Britten 1913 – 1976

I’ve been very excited since last Thursday.

Thursday 22nd November 2012 marked the beginning of a year of amazing musical events to celebrate the Britten Centenary up to what would have been his 100th Birthday on 22nd November 2013.

There are massive celebrations under the Britten 100 banner that covers all the events happening across the world during the next year and Birmingham has it’s own festival called Birmingham Britten. There will be performances of Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach and all sort of special one off events that I am hoping I can get to.

As a massive fan of Britten – he is partly responsible for my passion for choirs – I have been waiting for 2013 for years. I have been planning Notorious’s Festival of Britten for as long as I can remember and we have some amazing projects coming up.

My 2013 starts with me singing with Ex Cathedra in A Boy was Born at Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday 12th January. A Boy was Born is one of my earliest choir members when I sang in a performance in Coventry Cathedral. It is am amazing a cappella work and quite difficult to sing – I can’t wait even for the rehearsals it is such an amazing piece of music.

With Notorious we have cooked up a year of exciting projects starting with a performance of Britten’s cabaret songs on 24th March 2013 at the Kings Head pub in Bearwood.

Then we are hoping to commission a new piece of music for a very special piece inspired by Britten (more on that later!) then we finish our celebrations with a Benjamin Britten Birthday Party concert at St Paul’s Church in Hockley on 22nd November 2013. We will be singing my favourite Britten piece – Rejoice in the Lamb alongside other classics like St Nicolas and the beautiful Hymn to St Cecilia.

I am going to be very overexcited by this over the next twelve months – so I’ll share more as it happens. But if you don’t know any music by Britten – try to get to know at least one Britten piece between now and next November. You won’t be sorry…

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