Composer receives Sheffield celebration

Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears
Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears
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ONE of Britain’s most celebrated composers will be honoured in a year-long programme of events at Sheffield University.

‘A Boy Was Born Today’ will recognise the life and work of 20th century composer Benjamin Britten through a series of performances and events.

Some of the world’s leading musicians, actors and speakers will visit Sheffield as part of the festival, including actress Jenny Agutter, who will perform with the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra, and leading UK Tenor John Mark Ainsley, who will perform Britten’s work with Sheffield’s own Ensemble 360.

Renowned cellist Natalie Clein will perform Britten’s cello music and actor Roger Lloyd-Pack, who starred in The Vicar of Dibley and Only Fools and Horses, will read WH Auden’s poetry.

In addition, 20 orchestras, choirs and musical organisations have already committed to the project and there will be extensive outreach and education work in local schools.

Stewart Campbell, university concerts manager, said: “Britten’s genius is manifested in his extraordinary skill in setting text to music, his revolutionising of British opera, a unique ability to write for children and the masses, in addition to his thrilling performances and interpretations of his own and other’s works.

“I’m overwhelmed by the calibre of artists that have agreed to come to our city and perform and thrilled to be presenting work from the excellent orchestras and choirs from our community.”

The festival kicks off on Tuesday, February 19, and will run until December. For tickets, visit A boy was born