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Friday Afternoons with Britten

11 October 2013

The eagerly-awaited celebration for Benjamin Britten’s centenary is set to exceed expectations later this month. On Friday 22 November schools and music groups from every corner of the UK, as well as from Australia, Turkey, Singapore and the USA, will mark the composer’s centenary by performing his song cycle Friday Afternoons.

Aldeburgh Music is organising the project, which started as an East Anglian initiative and has since spread to many different countries across nine different time zones. ‘It’s remarkable that a project born in Britten’s home town of Aldeburgh, with its population of 2,500, now looks set to inspire over 100,000 children across the world,’ said chief executive of Aldeburgh Music Jonathan Reekie.

On Friday 22 November performances will begin in Melbourne, Australia at 03:00 GMT, running through to 22:00 GMT in Santa Monica, California. The day’s activities will be showcased online, with performances streamed live from across the globe.

Britten’s Friday Afternoons song cycle was composed for Clive House School in Prestatyn, where Britten’s brother was headmaster. The music is accessible, easy to sing, and lots of fun to perform. Any school anywhere can take part, and free online resources can be downloaded from the project’s website. Arrangements, scores and teaching aids are available for both primary and secondary groups, as well as Braille and signed versions.

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