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Aldeburgh Music

Aldeburgh Music

Aldeburgh Festival, founded by Britten in 1948, is now part of the year-round programme at Aldeburgh Music. Find out about all our events and our pioneering artist development and education programmes:

Centenary News

14 November 2013

Important information for Britten Centenary Weekend visitors

We look forward to welcoming you to the finale of Aldeburgh Music’s Britten Centenary. Below is some important information about programme changes and additions as well as details to help you plan your weekend.

Belcea Quartet withdrawal

We are sorry to announce that unfortunately the Belcea Quartet have had to withdraw at very short notice from their three scheduled performances over the weekend. Corina Belcea has experienced complications with her pregnancy and has been advised by her doctor that she should no longer travel before the birth of her baby. We wish Corina all the best for the remainder of her pregnancy.
We are extremely fortunate to be able to welcome some of the world’s leading young ensembles to replace the Belceas in three events that remain centred around Britten’s three string quartets:

Friday 22 November 12.30pm
Benyounes Quartet
Philip Higham cello

Purcell Fantasias (selection)
Britten Suite No. 2 for Cello, Op 80
Britten String Quartet No.2 , op 36
The Benyounes Quartet are no strangers to Aldeburgh audiences, having made their Aldeburgh Festival debut in 2010 and taken part in masterclasses and residencies here. This year they have performed all the Britten quartets, including a series at St John’s, Smith Square. Their concert at the Britten Centenary Weekend features the second suite for solo cello performed by the outstanding young British cellist Philip Higham.

Saturday 23 November 8pm
Kuss Quartet
Schubert Quartet in G major D887
Britten String Quartet No.3, op 94
The Berlin-based Kuss Quartet have developed a reputation for stylish performances of the core quartet repertoire and bold and wide-ranging programming including collaborations ranging from Aldeburgh Artistic Director Pierre-Laurent Aimard to poets and actors. Their recording of Schubert’s late quartet they perform here was described in Gramophone as ‘a performance of ferocity and concentration... [they] hold back nothing in their depiction of spine-chilling power’. This month they released a disc of Schubert’s String Quintet with the great Hungarian cellist Miklós Perényi.

Sunday 24 November 11am
Ensemble 360
Britten Three Divertimenti
Britten String Quartet No.1, Op 25
Shostakovich Piano Quintet
The enterprising and innovative chamber ensemble Ensemble 360 performed at this year’s Aldeburgh Festival and the group’s performances of Britten’s early chamber music are defined by freshness and clarity. They replicate the Belcea Quartet’s advertised programme pairing the youthful Divertimenti with two works written in the same year – Britten’s first quartet and Shostakovich’s piano quintet.
‘Brimming with body and soul with passion, vitality and virtuosity’ – The Independent


Friday Afternoons: 100,000 young people around the world sing Britten

Possibly the largest event of the worldwide Britten Centenary, Friday Afternoons is an international singing project led by Aldeburgh Music and joined by schools, choirs and partners in every corner of the UK and across the world. On Friday 22 November, Britten’s 100th birthday, groups of young people will sing his twelve Friday Afternoons songs. Performances will start in Melbourne, Australia at 04:00 GMT and run through to 22:00 GMT in Santa Monica, California, USA.
Activity will be showcased through the website, where you can watch a selection of events as they happen. Do visit the website to see this remarkable project take place.


Join BBC Radio 3 for live broadcasts from the Concert Hall Restaurant

Throughout the Britten Centenary Weekend BBC Radio 3 will be resident at Aldeburgh Music. In addition to relaying many of the weekend concerts, Radio 3 will broadcast programmes live from the Concert Hall Restaurant at Snape. All events in the Restaurant are open to the public: do come along to have a drink and listen in. Numbers are limited and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click the link to see Radio 3’s schedule of events in the Restaurant.


Noye’s Fludde

Change of time for performance on Sunday 24 November
Due to BBC Radio 3 requirements the performance on Sunday 24 November will start at 6pm, an hour earlier than previously advertised.

Car Parking
Parking at St Margaret’s Church in Lowestoft is limited and restricted to wheelchair users and blue badge holders only. For all others there is limited parking available in two nearby schools, Poplars  Community Primary School and Northfield St. Nicholas Primary School (both with the address St Margaret's Rd, Lowestoft, NR32 4HN) and public parking in nearby roads.

Restricted view seats
Due to the layout of the church, we have established that the £10 and £15 seats will have a restricted view. However, screens with a live relay of the performance will be mounted on pillars directly in front of these seats to help those seated further back.

Travel time to Lowestoft
St Margaret’s Church in Lowestoft is at least 1 hour’s drive from Snape and Aldeburgh by car, longer in heavy traffic. Therefore please allow plenty of time on your way to and from Noye’s Fludde.

BBC Singers at Southwold Church

If you have booked tickets to this event, please note that there is no parking at Southwold Church. However, there is public parking available in roads nearby. Please also allow extra time to travel into Lowestoft and find parking as the Southwold 10K run takes place on Sunday morning and streets may be busier than usual in the early afternoon. Please also note that seating is unreserved for this concert.

Late admission

Please note that a number of events over the weekend are being broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and we will therefore not be able to admit people late. Please allow plenty of time for travel to and between events.

Food and Drink

Aldeburgh Music’s Oyster Bar & Kitchen and Concert Hall restaurant will be open throughout the weekend, serving meals, drinks and snacks. You are also welcome to drop in to the Concert Hall Restaurant during the day to have a drink and watch BBC Radio 3’s live broadcasts. If you would like to book a table for a meal, please call the Box Office on 01728 687110.

Britten House and The Red House:

Visit Britten’s birthplace in Lowestoft
On his 100th birthday weekend, there is a unique opportunity to explore Britten’s Lowestoft roots in the house where he was born and raised:
Britten House, 21 Kirkley Cliff Road, Lowestoft.
Friday 22 – Sunday 24 November 2013, 10am – 4pm.
Entry is free. For more information see or call 01728 451700.

Centenary weekend opening at The Red House, Aldeburgh
Over the Centenary weekend, the Red House site - including the Studio, Gallery, Library, House and new Archive – will be open to visitors:
Friday 22 – Sunday 24 November 2013, 10am – 5pm.

On Friday 22 – Sunday 24 November, the Britten–Pears Foundation will offer a free minibus shuttle between Snape and The Red House, picking up at the following times:
Aldeburgh Music Visitor Centre, Snape: 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00
The Red House, Aldeburgh: 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30
For more information see or call 01728 451700.