A Visit to an Old Friend

2013 marks the centennial of the birth of British composer Benjamin Britten. A favorite among devotees of choral and vocal music (and one of the great opera composers of the 20th century), Britten’s music for the voice is a dramatic and nuanced reflection of the texts he set.
In observance of the occasion, the Symphonic Choir has programmed Britten’s most ambitious work for chorus and orchestra, the hauntingWar Requiem, for performance at the end of the upcoming 2013-2014 concert season.
In addition, and in order to gain new insight into the life and music of this most impressive composer, we are conducting a cultural tour of Britten’s homeland for June 2013. Dubbed our “Britten in Britain” tour, I am honored to be joined by my dear Butler University colleague Dr. Michael Sells as we travel with 30 friends from the Symphonic Choir community to such locales as London, Aldeburgh, Cambridge, Coventry and Bath.
So, in the coming weeks and months, we’ll dedicate some of this blog space to reports about our trip-the sights, sounds and (of course!) food-and the music we’ll be presenting next May.
For many of us, a chance to re-examine some of the music of this inspiring composer will refresh and deepen our appreciation. For those to whom his output may be less familiar, you’re in for a delightful treat.
In both our tour of England and our study and rehearsals for our performance, we are grateful for the opportunity to draw closer to the music that means so much to us. Like a visit to an old friend, we grow in understanding and appreciation of the inspiration we’ve experienced.

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