The best of Britten

41e6b1bb958f076997a40c64a9f435a8_f1225Derby will be joining in the national festival to celebrate the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth with musical events across the city this month.

Britten’s music may be identified above all with the Suffolk coast, but his universal appeal means that there are a huge number of events taking place all over the world.

Derby is doing the region proud by offering a unique opportunity to explore some of his choral, vocal and instrumental music.

Many musicians from some of the area’s top groups including the Derby Choral Union, Derby Cathedral Choir, the Derwent Singers, Sitwell Singers, Friday Voices, Derby Choristers and the Derby Cathedral Voluntary Choir will be taking part.

There will also be performances by the Cavaleri String Quartet, oboist Janey Miller and pianist Susie Summers.

The festival kicked off with a study day on October 26 at The VoiceBox with discussions around Britten’s life and interests.

The first of the November musical performances was on November 3 with A View of Britten – Song Recital with Dan Miller (bass baritone) and Richard Hodges on the piano.

The Cavaleri String Quartet was be at the University of Derby’s Multifaith Centre on November 8 and the Derwent Singers and Nottingham’s Sinfonia Chorale performed at Derby Cathedral on November 9.

They presented an ambitious and exciting programme including Poulenc (Figure Humaine and Salve Regina).

Next up is The Derby Choral Union which will be performing at the cathedral on November 16 at 7.30pm. Their programme will include Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb; Vaughan Williams’  Five Mystical Songs and Hubert Parry’s I was Glad.

Singing Britten on Sunday November 17 will be the VoiceBox soloists with Voices and ChorAlchemy choirs and Richard Hodges on the piano.

The main event of the festival takes place on the anniversary of Britten’s birth – St Cecilia’s Day, November 22, at Derby Cathedral at 7.45pm.

The concert of British music inspired by the occasion will feature many of the choirs mentioned earlier and they will be performing music by Britten, Purcell, Parry, Darke and Thiman. Soloists will be Anna Gould (soprano) and Richard Roddis (tenor) with Peter Gould conducting and Tom Corfield on the organ.

The last event of the festival will be Britten’s St Nicolas by the Derby Bach Choir directed by Richard Roddis at the Cathedral on November 23 at 7.30pm.

For more details about the venues and ticket prices go to click on what’s on and put Festival of Britten into the search.