Benjamin Britten's 24-Hour Centennial Celebration

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On Friday, Nov. 22, Q2 Music presents Great Britten – a 24-hour marathon celebrating the centennial of the late British composer Benjamin Britten (born Nov. 22, 1913 in Lowestoft, England; died Dec. 4, 1976 in Aldeburgh, England). 

With hosting by composer and self-avowed Britten obsessive Nico Muhly and tributes from a star-studded roster of Britten conductors, musicians and enthusiasts, Great Britten promises a deep dive into the music and legacy of one the most beloved compositional voices of the last 100 years. 

Comprised of an eight-hour playlist repeating at 8 am and 4 pm, Great Britten selections include "Abraham and Isaac" from The Canticles with tenor Ian Bostridge, countertenor David Daniels and pianist Julius Drake; the Violin Concerto with violin soloist Janine Jansen; Cello Suite No. 1 with cellist Mstislav Rostropovich; Saint Nicolas with conductor Stephen Layton leading the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge; and many others.

Additional voices featured during Great Britten include conductor and Britten expert Steuart Bedford, music directors Alan Gilbert (New York Philharmonic), Michael Tilson Thomas (San Francisco Symphony), Marin Alsop (Baltimore Symphony), David Roberston (St. Louis Symphony), Donald Runnicles (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra), James Conlon (Los Angeles Opera) and Peter Oundjian (Toronto Symphony Orchestra); violinist Gil Shaham; and vocalists including countertenor Iestyn Davies, soprano Susanna Phillips and tenors Nicholas Phan and Anthony Dean Griffey.