Lockdown Accessions

Lockdown Accessions

Friday October 2 2020

Our Archive has been fortunate to be able to continue receiving items to add to the collections during the 2020 pandemic. As people sorted through their cupboards and drawers, decluttering their houses during lockdown, some discovered old programmes, photographs, magazines and letters which they have now kindly passed on to us. These are mostly items […]

Julian Bream (1933-2020)

Wednesday August 19 2020

Guitarist, lutenist, communicator, source of inspiration: Julian Bream was a musician who fulfilled a number of important roles. He spent most of his eighty-seven years as an advocate for the classical guitar. He played a considerable part in the instrument’s renaissance during his lifetime as a player and commissioner of new works. Bream’s artistry took […]

Archive Treasures: Channel Air Bridge

Monday August 10 2020

One of the fascinations of an archive is the way that, no matter how apparently focused its content may be, other topics creep in at the edges. The world’s largest free-standing composer’s archive, the collection at the Red House, gives detailed chapter and verse on the professional activities of Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and their […]

Archive Treasures: Joan Cross’ wartime cast books

Monday August 3 2020

Joan Cross began her operatic career in 1923 when she joined the chorus of the Vic-Wells Opera Company, then throughout the 1930s she enjoyed success as one of the leading sopranos of the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company taking on a wide range of solo roles. In September 1940 Sadler’s Wells Theatre was requisitioned by Finsbury […]

Archive Treasures: Peter Pears’ gift of Winterreise

Monday June 22 2020

Britten and Pears’ first public performance of Schubert’s masterpiece was memorable for various reasons, not least of which is an archive treasure, a ‘stolen’ birthday present. Britten and Pears’ song recitals were often highlights of the Aldeburgh Festival. The rapport they established on stage is summarised by Britten’s publisher Erwin Stein who, following his 1957 […]

Archive Treasures: From Dr. Who’s Daleks to Britten’s baleful fisherman

Monday June 8 2020

Wonder what the above could possibly have in common? In three words: David Myerscough-Jones. Discover more about the work this artist did when he envisioned Britten’s Borough and ghosts for television Following studies in his native Lancashire this talented artist embarked on a career in designing for theatre first in Scotland and later in London. In […]

Reynolds Stone, Britten, Pears and their Bookplate

Wednesday May 6 2020

During a time when catching up on reading is a viable option for many of us, find out how Britten and Pears’ unique and beautiful bookplate came to be made. Britten and Pears were incorrigible bibliophiles. Like many booklovers, they were eager to declare ownership of their collection, to have a personalised Ex Libris. And […]

Britten, Pears, Holst and Bach’s St. John Passion

Thursday April 9 2020

Although attending a performance of the Passion isn’t possible this Easter we can be reminded of how important Bach’s music was to Britten, Pears and Imogen Holst, and take a quick look at how their own edition of the St. John Passion evolved. Bach was a staple in the lives of Britten, Pears and Imogen […]

Britten Pears Arts

Wednesday April 1 2020

We are pleased to confirm that on 31 March 2020 the Britten-Pears Foundation and Snape Maltings merged to create a new organisation called Britten Pears Arts. Following the sad decision that the Aldeburgh Festival 2020 had to be cancelled, this felt like a good moment to share some happier news. At this time it is more […]

New Collection: Rita Thomson’s Letters

Wednesday December 11 2019

Last week we were delighted to receive for addition to our archive collections letters sent to Rita Thomson from many friends including Britten and Pears. Rita met Britten in 1973 when he had an operation at London’s National Heart Hospital where she worked as a senior ward sister. Amongst the letters deposited with us are […]