Benjamin Britten, James Mayhew and Anthony Horowitz

This year Benjamin Britten would have been 100. That’s partly why we chose his chamber suite, The Sword in the Stone, for our Festival of Children’s Literature: As you hopefully know by now, on November 9th in Birmingham, James Mayhew will be will be running a fascinating workshop aimed at children 10-14 years old, all about illustrating to live music (performed by musicians from the Conservatoire), using Benjamin Britten’s music for T. H. White’s King Arthur book, The Sword in the Stone.

If you don’t know the music, you can listen to it for free, here. It was featured in Sunday’s Radio 3 afternoon concert. It’s the first piece in the programme, and will be available to listen again to until next Sunday lunchtime.

James Mayhew is spending much of this year immersed in Britten’s music. This summer he is the Guest Director of the Cheltenham Festival, where he is putting on a re-imagining of Britten’s music for children, A Young Person’s Painted Guide to the Orchestra. Mayhew was interviewed about this on Radio 3’s In Tune on Monday afternoon. You can listen again here (at 10 minutes 40 seconds).

Mayhew isn’t the only children’s literature link to Britten at the moment. How about setting words by Anthony Horowitz to music?

Here you can find out about an amazing competition: Aldeburgh Music’s Friday Afternoons project is looking for talented individuals or groups of young people, aged 18 and under and based in the UK, to set music to words written especially for this project by popular author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz. The deadline for submissions is 11 September 2013.

Listen to The Sword in the Stone by Benjamin Britten:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0111dr4

Listen to James Mayhew being interviewed:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b02yjm75 (at 10 minutes 40 seconds)

Find out about setting Anthony Horowitz’s words to music:
http://www.fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk/news/britten_young_songwriter_competition

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