The 2020 exhibitions at The Red House explore the rich and fascinating theme of ‘inspiration’. In 1974, Britten wrote a letter to Pears expressing his gratitude for what Pears had given him over the decades: “What have I done to deserve such an artist and man to write for?”. Pears was not, however, only a ‘muse’, but a true collaborator. Our gallery exhibition this year examines in detail the powerful effect Pears’ artistry had on Britten’s entire career: from the sheer amount of music he inspired in him, to their professional recital partnership, to even the notes on the page.

Pears was the person for whom Britten composed the most; but Britten nearly always wrote for particular performers, many of whom spurred him on to explore new musical landscapes. The exhibition pays tribute to the remarkable talents of Mstislav Rostropovich, Julian Bream and Janet Baker among many others.

The exhibition will open on Tuesday 3 March and will run until Sunday 1 November. For more information about opening times please see our Visit page.