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Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten artist page: interviews, features and/or performances archived at NPR Music

Concerts

Conductor Carlos Kalmar leads the Oregon Symphony in music inspired by war.

May 12, 2011 Hear the orchestra perform works possessed with the turbulent spirit of war.

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August 29, 2008 Thomas Mann's novella of art and eros inspired the English composer's final, haunting opera.

ListenPlaylist

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August 2, 2006 In the spirit of mixing and matching music on MP3 players, a set of four short classical pieces.

Studio Sessions

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February 7, 2008 The ambitious young musicians play Benjamin Britten's String Quartet No. 2 in the WGBH studio.

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Interviews & Profiles

Benjamin Britten takes a cup of tea during rehearsals for his War Requiem at Coventry Cathedral, in Coventry, England in May, 1962.

November 23, 2013 To mark Britten's centennial, Marin Alsop discovers the composer via his blood-soaked War Requiem.

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Janine Jansen's career took off when she released one of the first classical hits on iTunes.

March 5, 2011 The violinist was one of the first classical best-sellers on iTunes, and her career has grown since.

ListenPlaylist

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April 27, 2007 Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich died Friday in Moscow. He was 80.

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News

A portrait of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau taken circa 1965.

May 18, 2012 One of the titans of classical singing in the 20th century has died at age 86.

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May 22, 2009 Hear five musical expressions of uncommon power and beauty, reminding listeners of what we've lost.

Reviews

It was a big year for extravagant classical box sets.

December 6, 2013 Amid a banner year for classical music box sets, advice on what to splurge on.

It was a big year for extravagant classical box sets.

December 6, 2013 Amid a banner year for classical music box sets, advice on what to splurge on.

Coventry Cathedral in ruins, November 1940. Britten's War Requiem was written for the church's reconsecration more than 20 years after it was destroyed by Nazi bombers.

May 29, 2012 A stellar new recording from the London Symphony Orchestra of a poignant and timely work.

American tenor Nicholas Phan.

December 13, 2011 A phenomenal solo debut album by a very promising young American tenor, Nicholas Phan.

Countertenor Bejun Mehta.

September 20, 2011 The countertenor leaves the Baroque era behind, at least for a while. Hear "Silent Noon."

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More Stories

A singer takes the stage during the first performance of "Grimes on the Beach," an outdoor production of Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes, on June 17, 2013 in Aldeburgh, England.

November 22, 2013 The centennial of celebrated composer Benjamin Britten is being marked by concerts around the world.

ListenPlaylist

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July 13, 2006 Benjamin Britten's four Sea Interludes, performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival.

Tenor Nicholas Phan and harpist Sivan Magen perform at a group house in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

November 20, 2013 A tenor brings three quirky folk songs from England back to bohemian Brooklyn.

Sarah Joy Miller as Anna Nicole Smith in Anna Nicole by Mark-Anthony Turnage, the final production from the New York City Opera, which closed its doors for good this fall.

December 31, 2013 A beloved conductor made a triumphant return and Walt Disney was reanimated by Philip Glass.

A portrait of the composer Benjamin Britten from 1948.

November 19, 2013 Britain's artistic idol would be 100 this Friday. We've got your cheat sheet to his music.

Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, written in response to the devastation of both World Wars, premiered in 1962.

November 10, 2013 Britten's response to bloodshed remains as vital as it was when his Requiem premiered in 1962.

The cast of Moonrise Kingdom.

June 28, 2012 How the music of British composer Benjamin Britten inspired Wes Anderson's latest film.

György Ligeti's surreal opera Le Grand Macabre was the hit of the New York Philharmonic's 2009-2010 season, in a semi-staged production that featured Barbara Hannigan (left) as Gepopo and Anthony Roth Costanzo as Prince Go-Go.

April 25, 2012 European opera ranged from realistic to unhinged in the 20th century.

Composer Nico Muhly: "I'm positive I understand how augmented chords change an emotional texture  because of Nintendo music."

May 23, 2011 How getting into Nintendo as a kid led to a life in classical music.

Coventry Cathedral in ruins, November 1940. Britten's War Requiem was written for the church's reconsecration more than 20 years after it was destroyed by German bombers.

May 18, 2011 How a group of 12-year-olds came to encounter Britten's War Requiem.

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December 12, 2006 WGUC music director Kent Teeters compiled this list of the year's best classical CD discoveries.

NPR Artist Directory

Chopin

Frederic Chopin

Hear Chopin's music in performance and perspective.

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Gillian Welch

Gillian Welch

Enjoy archival interviews and performances from the folk revivalist.

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Spoon

Spoon

Music, live concerts and interviews with the pop-rock band.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Hear and watch exclusive performances from the guitar-playing Mexican duo.

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Bon Iver

Bon Iver

Hear concerts and interviews with the atmospheric art-folk singer.

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Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus

Hear performances and profiles of the jazz innovator's work.

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Emerson String Quartet

Emerson String Quartet

Hear essential recordings and performances from the lauded quartet.

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

NPR Music explores the life and voice of the passionate Qawwali singer.

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Wye Oak

Wye Oak

Exclusive performances from the pop duo from Baltimore.

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M.I.A.

M.I.A.

Music and news from the Sri Lanka-born hip-hop artist and producer.

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Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Hear concerts and interviews with the grandiose art-rock band.

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Britten: War Requiem

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  • Album: Britten: War Requiem
  • Artist: Benjamin Britten
 

Britten: War Requiem [Remastered] [Anniversary Edition] [2CD+Blu-Ray Audio]

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  • Album: Britten: War Requiem [Remastered] [Anniversary Edition] [2CD+Blu-Ray Audio]
  • Artist: Benjamin Britten
  • Label: Decca
  • Released: 2013
 

Beethoven/Britten Violin Concertos

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  • Album: Beethoven/Britten Violin Concertos
  • Artist: Janine Jansen
  • Label: Decca
  • Released: 2009
 

Beau Soir

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  • Album: Beau Soir
  • Artist: Janine Jansen
  • Label: Decca
  • Released: 2011
 

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

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  • Album: Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
  • Artist: Janine Jansen
  • Label: Decca
  • Released: 2005
 

Britten: The Complete Works

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  • Album: Britten: The Complete Works
  • Artist: Peter Glossop
  • Label: Decca
  • Released: 2013
 

Van Cliburn: Complete Album Collection

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  • Album: Van Cliburn: Complete Album Collection
  • Artist: Van Cliburn
  • Label: RCA Red Seal
 

Gary Graffman: The Complete RCA and Columbia Album Collection

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  • Album: Gary Graffman: The Complete RCA and Columbia Album Collection
  • Artist: Gary Graffman
  • Label: Sony Classical
 

Verdi At The Met: Legendary Performances from the Metropolitan Opera

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  • Album: Verdi At The Met: Legendary Performances from the Metropolitan Opera
  • Artist: Various
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Released: 2013
 

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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  • Album: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Artist: Fritz Reiner
  • Released: 2013
 

Wagner: Complete Operas [Limited Edition]

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  • Album: Wagner: Complete Operas [Limited Edition]
  • Artist: Various
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
 

Britten: War Requiem

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  • Album: Britten: War Requiem
  • Artist: Antonio Pappano
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • Released: 2013
 

Ligeti: Le Grand Macabre

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  • Album: Ligeti: Le Grand Macabre
  • Artist: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Label: Sony Music
  • Released: 1999
 

Olivier Messiaen: Saint François d'Assise

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  • Album: Olivier Messiaen: Saint François d'Assise
  • Artist: Kent Nagano
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Released: 1999
 

Henze: The Young Lord

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  • Album: Henze: The Young Lord
  • Artist: Christoph von Dohnányi
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Released: 1996
 

Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes

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  • Album: Benjamin Britten: Peter Grimes
  • Artist: Benjamin Britten
  • Label: London
  • Released: 1985
 

Down by the Salley Gardens

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  • Album: Down by the Salley Gardens
  • Artist: Bejun Mehta
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • Released: 2011
 

Down By The Salley Gardens

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  • Album: Down By The Salley Gardens
  • Artist: Bejun Mehta
  • Released: 2011
 

Hindemith: Requiem "For Those We Love"

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  • Album: Hindemith: Requiem "For Those We Love"
  • Artist: Various
  • Label: Orfeo
  • Released: 2009
 

John Adams: Fearful Symmetries; Wound Dresser

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  • Album: John Adams: Fearful Symmetries; Wound Dresser
  • Artist: Various
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Released: 1989
 

String Quartet No. 2

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  • Album: String Quartet No. 2
  • Artist: The Jupiter String Quartet
  • Label: Marquis Records
  • Released: 2007
 

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 8

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  • Album: Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 8
  • Artist: Osmo Vanska/Minnesota Orchestra
 

Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, etc.

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  • Album: Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, etc.
  • Artist: Paavo Jarvi/Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
 

Bach: Works for Trumpet

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  • Album: Bach: Works for Trumpet
  • Artist: Alison Balsom
 

Grieg: Norwegian Dances, etc.

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  • Album: Grieg: Norwegian Dances, etc.
  • Artist: Paavo Jarvi/Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
 

Nuove musiche

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  • Album: Nuove musiche
  • Artist: Rolf Lislevand
 

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6/Serenade for Strings

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  • Album: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6/Serenade for Strings
  • Artist: Daniele Gatti/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
 

Eric Whitacre: Cloudburst and Other Choral Works

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  • Album: Eric Whitacre: Cloudburst and Other Choral Works
  • Artist: Stephen Layton
 

Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps, etc.

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  • Album: Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps, etc.
  • Artist: Esa-Pekka Salonen/Los Angeles Philharmo
 

Beethoven: Symphony Nos. 5 & 7

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  • Album: Beethoven: Symphony Nos. 5 & 7
  • Artist: Gustavo Dudamel/Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela