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On Monday 3 February, six A-Level Music pupils went to Aldeburgh for a composition workshop at Benjamin Britten’s house; the Red House.

Benjamin Britten's home, The Red House

Benjamin Britten’s home, The Red House

The following report was written by Andrew Egan, Year 13:

“Upon arrival we were greeted by our helpful and knowledgeable guide, Chris Milton, and given a tour of the Britten Museum; which takes you on a journey from Britten’s childhood to his death, giving a valuable insight into the man behind the music. We then visited the archive building that houses the greatest collection of original scores from any single famous composer. We were able to see the original rough score and the draft score of Britten’s “War Requiem” while analysing and discussing the piece with Chris, who gave invaluable added detail to our previous notes from studying the piece.

After lunch we went to see Britten’s studio, a converted upstairs of a barn, where he wrote his greatest works while staring out of his window at the surrounding Suffolk countryside. We then returned to the archives where we analysed free composition work, with Chris giving advice on techniques that could develop composition skills. We all found it useful to look at skills and techniques Britten employed in many of his works, especially his setting of texts to music.

It was an enjoyable and informative day and thanks must go to our extremely helpful and friendly host for the day.”