Happy Birthday, Ben

St Cecilia’s day today  – and Benjamin Britten’s birthday. The Britten-Pears Foundation has celebrated by launching  EBB Music Publishing, releasing four of his previously unpublished works.

Imogen Holst, in her diary entry of November 22, 1953, writes of Britten’s 40th birthday: ‘ I was working in my studio all the morning, and then Ben and Barbara & Basil Douglas walked in and invited me to lunch. As we walked down Crag Path Ben said he’d had lots of lovely presents. (He liked his descant recorder…) …When I went home about 6 Ben gave me the dance suite score to copy, and thanked me for my birthday letter and said it meant so much to him to have me helping to keep his spirits up, and he hoped it wasn’t too much of a tie, so I said it was the sort of tie they had in the Book of Kells that joins up with everything else.’ From Imogen Holst – A Life in Music, published by Boydell and Brewer.


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