BBC to devote a year of programming to Benjamin Britten centenary in 2013

A 12-month line-up of radio, television and BBC Proms performances will mark the 100th anniversary of the British composer's birth

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The BBC is to dedicate a year of performance and programming across radio, television and the Proms to the centenary of British composer Benjamin Britten in 2013.

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Events ranging throughout the year include Radio 3 broadcasts of every Britten opera, a weekend of live transmissions from the renowned Aldeburgh Music centre – beginning on the 100th anniversary of the Britten’s birth on 22nd November – and a series of performances of Britten concertos by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

BBC4 will screen opera Billy Budd and a remastered version of 1970s BBC dramatisation Owen Wingrave, as well as rare archive interviews with the composer and documentaries exploring his life and work. 

On Remembrance Sunday, 17th November, the BBC Symphony Orchestra will perform Britten’s War Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall.

Radio 3 controller and BBC Proms director Roger Wright said of the year-long season: “Britten is a significant part of the UK’s classical music history. His music and performances have inspired composers, performers and audiences alike. As the home of classical music, BBC Radio 3 is delighted to play a central part in the centenary celebrations. Along with the BBC’s Performing Groups we’re looking forward to bringing our audiences a range of Britten programming in this special year.”

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BBC4 controller Richard Klein added: “BBC4 is the home for music on television and next year we’ll be looking at contemporary classical music in the 20th century… Benjamin Britten is a key part of that story. Not only will BBC4 be offering a chance to see archive television gems in the region that inspired his work and life, Aldeburgh, but we will be proud to broadcast some of his classic works alongside rare and illuminating archive interviews.”