The Britten–Pears legacy
The composer Benjamin Britten was inspired by the vast skies and moody seas of the Suffolk coast in Eastern England. In 1948, along with the singer, Peter Pears and writer Eric Crozier, he founded the Aldeburgh Festival in his home town by the North Sea.
Long before arts organisations thought of engaging in education and supporting young artists, Britten and Pears established both. They brought together international stars and emerging talent, including world-renowned figures such as Fischer-Dieskau, Menuhin, Sviatoslav Richter and Rostopovich, and young stars in the making such as Söderström, Perahia and Bream.
There is now a year-round progamme of events including an Easter Festival, the Snape Proms every night in August, and an annual weekend celebration of the work of Benjamin Britten. Concerts, dance performances and community events take place most weekends.
Nurturing talent, fulfilling potential
Britten and Pears revelled in the isolation that enabled them to develop important collaborations, creating performances and works of art away from the glare of – but profoundly influencing – the international music scene. Building on these ideals, Aldeburgh Education – for the wider community, Aldeburgh Young Musicians – for children of exceptional potential, the Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme – for emerging professional musicians, and Aldeburgh Residencies – for established artists all provide opportunities to fully realise potential and develop creative talents.
Continuing the legacy of Benjamin Britten, who encouraged the breaking down of boundaries between amateur and professional, Aldeburgh Music has inspired over 50 years of performances and events, involving the local community as creators, performers, and audiences.
The largest provider of performance experience for young professional musicians in the UK, the Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme runs short courses that bridge the gap between music college and a successful career.
Aldeburgh Residencies offer bespoke development opportunities to established artists. The Residencies enable individuals and ensembles to re-energise, create new work, study new repertoire, try out new partnerships, learn new skills and explore cross-artform possibilities.