Composer. Born Lowestoft on St Cecilia's Day (patron saint of music). Royal College of Music, Founder of English Opera Group 1946 and the Aldeburgh Festival. Composer of opera Peter Grimes and other significant operas, other compositions include the War Requiem and Death in Venice. Met W.H. Auden at the GPO Film Unit. Encouraged by Auden Britten went to America in 1939 and lived there in a bohemian household with his life partner Peter Pears, Auden, Carson McCullers, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Peter and Jane Bowles. Auden and Britten collaborated on a number of projects at the GPO Film Unit, most famously Night Mail, and later in America the operetta Paul Bunyan. But they had a major falling out and Britten returned to the UK in 1942 when he registered as a conscientious objector to the war. First ever composer to become a life peer. Died at home, the Red House, Aldeburgh.
Credit for this entry to: Beverley Duguid