To further our priorities around developing talent and showcasing, Arts Council England invested £1 million in a national celebration of the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth.

Aldeburgh Music was awarded the grant commission to lead a partnership of national and local organisations in producing a nationwide programme of events. Activities took place between November 2012 and March 2014.

Aims and outcomes 

Britten's Centenary in 2013 created the opportunity for a major national event that aimed to:

  • explore Britten's extraordinary musical and cultural legacy, including his support for talented artists, his belief in widening access and participation, and his collaborations with dance, film, theatre, visual arts and literature
  • inspire contemporary English artists to create exceptional new work
  • attract new audiences to Britten's work and new work inspired by him, including through digital distribution and touring
  • promote England's importance as a major international cultural destination
  • generate new investment from a range of sources

Main outcomes sought

  • For artists based in England:
    • creative development of artistic practice
    • improved local and national profile
    • new, strong and sustainable local and national artistic relationships
  • For arts and cultural organisations based in England:
    • new and strengthened artistic partnerships and networks, for creation and distribution
    • sustainable relationships with new audiences, participants and donors
  • For audiences:
    • local opportunities to experience exceptional performances
    • opportunities to experience work digitally
    • developing a greater understanding of Britten's life, work and legacy
  • For children and young people:
    • opportunities to take part in high profile, high quality performances
    • opportunities to work with leading artists
    • a legacy of high quality new work written especially for children and young people