Benjamin Britten was one of Britain's greatest composers and musicians. He was a
prolific composer, contributing works in many forms. He is especially known for
his operas and other vocal works, many of which he composed for his partner Peter
Pears. He was also an extremely sensitive accompanist and conductor of his own works
and the works of other composers.
- 1913 - Born 22 November (St. Cecilia's Day)
- 1919 - Begins composing.
- 1928 - Begins regular composition lessons with Frank Bridge.
- 1930 - Begins studies at the Royal College of Music with John Ireland (composition)
and Arthur Benjamin (Piano)
- 1931 - Wins Farrar Prize for composition (R.C.M.)
- 1933 - Meets Schoenberg. Wins Farrar Prize for composition (R.C.M.)
Passes A.R.C.M. exams.
- 1934 - Father dies. Meets Peter Pears (briefly).
- 1935 - Works with the G.P.O. as composer. Meets W. H. Auden.
- 1936 - Signs a publishing contract with Boosey and Hawkes.
Joins the staff of the G.P.O. Film Unit.
- 1937 - Mother dies. Friendship with Peter Pears begins.
- 1939 - Sails with Pears to America.
- 1941 - Awarded Library of Congress Medal for services to chamber music.
- 1942 - Returns to England. Conscientious objectors' tribunal.
Exempted from military service.
- 1948 - First Aldeburgh Festival.
- 1953 - Created Companion of Honour.
- 1956 - Hears Gamelan music (See The Prince of the Pagodas).
Attends Japanese Noh play (See Curlew River).
- 1957 - Elected honorary member of American Academy of Arts and Letters.
- 1960 - Meets Dmitri Shostakovich and Mstislav Rostropovich.
- 1964 - Aspen Award. Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society.
- 1965 - Appointed member of the Order of Merit. Faber becomes Britten's new publisher.
- 1966 - Abdominal operation.
- 1967 - Queen Elizabeth II opens the Maltings concert hall at Snape.
- 1969 - The Maltings burns down.
- 1970 - The Maltings re-opens.
- 1973 - Operation to replace heart valve.
- 1974 - Ravel Prize.
- 1976 - Is created Life Peer. Dies 4 December.