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Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten (1913 - 76) began composing at the age of six, and his first compositions were published while he was still a student. He made a living through writing music for documentary films in the 1930s, beginning a collaboration with W H Auden which continued when he and his life-long partner, the singer Peter Pears, moved to the USA in 1939. Returning in 1942 he began work on his operatic masterpiece, Peter Grimes, the first of the many operas that dominated his career.His greatest public success came with the War Requiem in 1962; he died four years after the completion of his final opera, Death in Venice.