Music: Britten: 1913-76

In June he was awarded a life peerage that entitled him to be called, although no one did, Lord Britten. It was an honor that acknowledged Benjamin Britten's rank as Britain's finest living composer and one of its best throughout a long history. In 1945 he produced the one contemporary opera, Peter Grimes, that has found a firm place in international repertory. Of the 14 other operas that he wrote, Billy Budd may soon earn a similar popularity, and if it does not, the underappreciated A Midsummer Night's Dream should. His plentiful songs...

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