Search the Collection

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), Composer

(Edward) Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten

Sitter in 117 portraits
Artist of 5 portraits
Born in Lowestoft, Britten was taught by Frank Bridge and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1930. Britten and Pears emigrated to the USA in 1939, returning in 1942. Peter Grimes, the first of Britten's ten operas, was written for Pears, designed by Kenneth Green for the reopening of Sadler's Wells in 1945. Billy Budd (1951) was commissioned for the Festival of Britain and the War Requiem (1962) for the consecration of Coventry Cathedral. Lifelong partners, they started the Aldeburgh Festival in 1948, and in 1972 founded the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies.