Britten, Benjamin

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Britten, Benjamin Gender: M
Edward Benjamin Britten
born on 22 November 1913 at 19:00 (= 7:00 PM )
Place Lowestoft, England, 52n29, 1e45
Timezone GMT h0w (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 29°53' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 18°59 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 18°27'

Benjamin Britten


British foremost composer who helped revive interest in opera through his "Peter Grimes," 1945 and other works, including compositions for motion pictures.

He studied and from age seven and from age 14, composed music that was straightforward and conservatively modern with a dramatic flair. In 1937, then 24 years old, he made his mark outside England with the premiere at the Salzburg Festival of his "Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge," a work of stunning brilliance.

The son of a dentist, Britten was raised in the seaside town of Lowestoft. He went to boarding school and later fell into the raffish company of W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood in the London '30s. According to his letters, the gay writers took him to bath houses and urged him "to decide something about my sexual life." Neither was able to crack his physical reserve, nor was his relationship with the tenor Peter Pears consummated until they reached a hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in June 1939.

For most of Britten's life, homosexual contact between consenting adults was an imprisonable offense. It was during Britten's time in America during World War II that his relationship with Pears deepened to become a nearly 40-year partnership. They were baited by homophobes among their colleagues and taunted by other musicians over their pacifism and socialism. Becoming hyper-sensitive to criticism and paranoid about his privacy, Britten was a timid but deeply ambitious man, fortified in his resolve by the two people who loved him most, his mother and his lover. When his adored and adoring mother died in 1937, he lost "the grandest mother a person could have." It was within weeks that Pears entered his life. It was noted that Pears, a lyric tenor, had a voice "exactly like Britten's mother."

Pears was the active partner, and the one with a roving eye. Britten never wavered in his devotion and was often fearful that his lover may stray, though his love was essentially more emotional than carnal. Theirs was a unique melding of talent and Britten specifically instructed Mitchell "to tell the truth about Peter and me."

Benjamin Britten died of congestive heart failure on 4 December 1976 at age 63. On 20 June 1991, his intimate letters and diaries were published, but gingerly, because he had shared most of his adult life with Pears. The materials were suppressed by Britten's lover and nervous trustees of his estate, but after Pears' death in 1986, the eminent Mahler scholar Donald Mitchell was given permission to edit the correspondence. A close friend and the composer's publisher for 13 years, Mitchell co-edited the work, titled, "Letters From a Life: Selected Letters and Diaries of Benjamin Britten," in three volumes.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • other associate with Soutar, William (born 28 April 1898). Notes: Britten set Soutar's poetry to music
  • compare to chart of Gaillard, Ophélie (born 13 June 1974). Notes: Cello suites and Cello sonata


  • Death of Mother 1937 (Beloved mother died)
  • Relationship : Meet a significant person 1937 (Peter Pears)
  • Relationship : Begin significant relationship June 1939 (Began affair with Peter Pears)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1945 ("Peter Grimes")
  • Death, Cause unspecified 4 December 1976 (Age 63)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 20 June 1991 (Letters and diaries published)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Astrology Quarterly quotes his personal friend, Spring/1952


  • Traits : Mind : Child prodigy (Composed from age 14)
  • Family : Relationship : Cohabitation more than 3 yrs (Lived 40 years with Peter Pears)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Same sex
  • Passions : Sexuality : Gay
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Composer/ Arranger
  • Vocation : Military : Pacifist/ Objector (Pacifist)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection