Lunchtime Lecture: Benjamin Britten: Pictures from an Exhibition

Past event archive
6 February 2014, 13:15

Ondaatje Wing Theatre


  • Lecture

Conductor and writer Paul Kildea, author of the acclaimed biography Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century, uses portraits in the National Portrait Gallery collection to tell the story of the great twentieth-century English composer. Each image -- from the boy Britten painted by his aunt to Kenneth Green's wartime double portrait of Britten and his partner, the tenor Peter Pears -- has it's own intriguing backstory, which Kildea here threads together to create his own portrait of a brilliant, complex man. 

A former Young Artist at Opera Australia, Paul Kildea has conducted throughout Australia and Europe, including guest appearances with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble 2e2m (Paris), Nash Ensemble (London), West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Australian Youth Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Britten–Pears Orchestra. During a four-year appointment as Head of Music at the Aldeburgh Festival he conducted and programmed a broad repertory. In addition to Aldeburgh he has held artistic posts with the Perth festival and Wigmore Hall, London, where he was Artistic Director. He is currently Artistic Director of Four Winds Festival on the South Coast of New South Wales. Kildea holds an honours degree in piano performance and a masters degree in musicology from The University of Melbourne, where he is now an Honorary Principal Fellow, and a doctorate from Oxford University. His books include Selling Britten and Britten on Music. In January 2013 Penguin published his major new biography, Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century, to considerable critical acclaim.

Seats for our lunchtime lectures are allocated on a first come, first served basis and are subject to availability.