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Born: 1913, Lowestoft, Suffolk, England
Died: 1976, Aldeburgh, England

Like the court or church composers of the distant past, Britten wrote with facility and imagination whether working on order or on impulse. He was also a pianist of virtuoso caliber and a conductor of considerable competence. Although his creative gifts flourished most remarkably when applied to vocal music – whether in solo, choral, or operatic context – he also demonstrated a high level of excellence in many instrumental works. Leopold Stokowski introduced Britten’s music to LA Phil audiences at the Hollywood Bowl in 1946; the composer himself led the orchestra in his music three years later, and his works have made regular appearances ever since.

Further listening:
Sinfonia da Requiem (1940)
London Symphony Orchestra
André Previn (Decca)

Lachrymae (1948, orch. 1976)
Kim Kashkashian, viola
Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,
Dennis Russell Davies (ECM New Series)