England is alive with the sound of music in 2013 as the year marks the centenary of Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976), the world’s most performed opera composer born in the 20th century. While the anniversary falls in November, events and activities will take place throughout the year and millions are expected to join Britten 100, the widest ever global celebration of an English composer.
Friday, November 22 it is his actual birthday and over 100,000 young people across the world will sing Benjamin Britten’s Friday Afternoons on this, his 100th birthday. Wellington School is delighted to be part of this celebration.
Friday Afternoons is a set of 12 songs composed by Benjamin Britten between 1933 and 1935. The simple songs, with witty piano accompaniments, are dedicated to Britten’s schoolmaster brother, Robert, and the boys of Clive House preparatory school, Prestatyn – a school in which choir practice and singing lessons regularly took place on a Friday afternoon.
November 22nd is also the feast day of St Cecilia who is the Patron Saint of music and musicians. Feast celebrations on this day date back to the 4th century and St Cecilia has inspired many musical tributes.