Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft in 1913. His mother, a keen amateur singer, was thrilled that her youngest was born on 22 November: the feast day of St Cecilia, the patron saint of music. She hoped he would – after Bach, Beethoven and Brahms –...  more

"Sinfonia da Requiem", Opus 20

To mark the 2,600th anniversary of the Mikado Dynasty, Benjamin Britten received a commission from the Japanese government to compose a commemorative work. The completed score was then, however, rejected as an insult to the emperor. The actual...


Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born in 1809 as the son of a banker and grandson of philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, whipped up a storm of enthusiasm, when only 17, with his incidental music for Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. With a performance...  more

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Opus 64

The first hints of the history of the E minor Violin Concerto by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy go back to the year 1838. In a letter dated July 30, the componist wrote to his violinist friend Ferdinand David: "I would like to make a violin concerto...



Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven, born in December 1770 in Bonn into a musical family, attracted attention early in his life thanks to his outstanding musical talent. In 1792 the Prince Elector of Bonn sent him to Vienna to enable him to perfect his knowledge...  more

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92

Although described by Wagner as "the apotheosis of dance", the Seventh Symphony however does not follow an idea or program like the 5th and 6th, but is rather absolute music like Symphonies 1 to 4. The association with dance is more likely to go...


Jaap van Zweden

Over the last decade, conductor Jaap van Zweden has become an international presence on three continents. This season marks a major milestone as he completes his ten-year tenure as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and simultaneously...  more

James Ehnes