From Elgar to MacMillan and beyond the last century has seen an explosion of British creative talent. One composer of special significance to this explosion was Benjamin Britten, who was born one hundred years ago. Composing music which grew from an essentially English base, he quickly achieved an international status which endures, his output ranging from simple folk song arrangements through large-scale orchestral and choral works to opera. Julian Williamson investigates the life and work of this fascinating man, delving into his remarkable creative spirit, teasing out some of the personal and political stimuli which inspired many of his most important works, and presenting a rounded picture of a complex but very great man.
(image credit Ben Ealovega)