Skip to main content


Recipient of 2013 Britten Centenary commissioned grant fund announced

25 October 2012


Arts Council England is today (25 October 2012) announcing the recipient of its 2013 Britten Centenary commissioned grant fund.

Aldeburgh Music has been chosen to lead and co-ordinate a partnership of national and local organisations to produce a programme of events during 2013 that will celebrate the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth. A maximum of £1 million has been made available for this commissioned grant work.

The Arts Council recognises that Britten's Centenary in 2013 creates the opportunity for a major national celebration and hopes the work supported by this commissioned grant will:

· explore Britten's extraordinary musical and cultural legacy, including his support for talented artists, his belief in getting people involved in music and in music making, and his collaborations with dance, film, theatre, visual arts and literature

· inspire contemporary English artists to create exceptional new work

· attract new audiences to Britten's work and new work inspired by him, including through digital distribution and touring

· promote England's importance as a major international cultural destination

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “Arts Council England is proud to be part of the 2013 Britten Centenary celebrations, which will honour a man who was and is a visionary artistic influence.

“His legacy - his exceptional and exacting artistic output spanning many different artforms; his pioneering approach towards working with amateurs, performers young artists; always demanding the best of whoever he worked with; and his innovative attitude towards audiences - is strongly felt today and is reflected in our goals.

“I am confident that Aldeburgh Music, which was founded by Britten, will create and deliver a unique and exciting programme of performances and projects that will celebrate this legacy and showcase the strong talent that this country has to offer.”

Jonathan Reekie, Chief Executive, Aldeburgh Music, said: “Benjamin Britten has an international reputation that is greater than any other classical composer from these shores. As you would expect, the focus of the Centenary activity is Britten’s music, with over 1200 performances already scheduled worldwide.

“However, looking deeper into his legacy reveals that Britten’s wider musical ethos was as fertile as his musical imagination, encompassing ground breaking work in participation, talent development & cross-arts projects. This wider legacy stands out as being of exceptional interest and relevance today and this Arts Council grant gives a fantastic opportunity for Aldeburgh Music in partnership with the Britten–Pears Foundation and the national arts community to explore this further, taking Britten to a much broader audience.”

The commissioned grant fund will help deliver the ambitions set out in Arts Council England’s 10-year plan for the arts, Achieving great art for everyone, particularly in respect of developing and showcasing talent by offering opportunities to promote the excellence of English artists and arts organisations during these high-profile activities.

Notes to editors

About Arts Council England

The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

About Aldeburgh Music - A Place of Inspiration for Music and the Arts

Aldeburgh Music has grown out of the Aldeburgh Festival which Britten and Pears, in collaboration with writer Eric Crozier, founded in 1948. The Festival brought a plethora of international artists to Suffolk including Menuhin, Richter and Rostropovich where they collaborated with young stars in the making such as Söderström, Perahia and Bream, mixed with contributions from the local community.

In Britten’s lifetime the Aldeburgh Festival expanded by adding the iconic Snape Maltings Concert Hall and the Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme. In recent years further expansion has led to a year-round programme, more performance & rehearsal spaces, Aldeburgh Young Musicians and Aldeburgh Residencies to create a unique international performance centre with education and talent development at its heart.

Programme summary for the Arts Council 2013 Britten Centenary fund

This programme will run alongside the Aldeburgh Britten Centenary programme which has already been announced here.

The events supported by the 2013 Britten Centenary fund will feature work with children and young people in addition to focusing on talent and audience development. For any further information on the programme please contact Aldeburgh Music.

Over 100 Britten Centenary arts and education partnerships including Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Singers, Boosey & Hawkes, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Bristol Old Vic, Brighton Festival, Cambridge Music Festival, Cambridgeshire Music Service, Charanga, Dance East, English National Opera, Familiar Fields, Glyndebourne, NI Opera, Opera North, Oxfordshire Music Service, The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Suffolk County Music Service, The Apex Bury St Edmunds, The Sage Gateshead, Trinity College London, Town Hall Symphony Hall, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Welsh National Opera.

Contact information

Tamara Salhab
Tamara Salhab
Job Title
Media Relations Officer
Arts Council England
0207 973 6890
07712 854903