This is an extensive collection of photographs of Britten and Pears, and of their family, friends, colleagues and associates. The collection presents a photographic record of the lives of Britten and Pears. The photographs show many aspects of their lives: the important or notable occasions as well as times at home, at leisure and on holiday.
The photographs of Britten and Pears cover the whole of their lives. These include photographs of Britten's and Pears's families and of Britten and Pears at school and college. There are formal and informal portraits of Britten and Pears as well as photographs of Britten and Pears performing, both in recitals and concerts, and photographs of Britten conducting. There are also photographs of Britten and Pears receiving awards and honours, and photographs taken at Britten's funeral and at memorial dedications.
There are extensive photographs of Britten and Pears with friends, colleagues and associates, taken on formal and informal occasions, at work and at leisure, at home and on trips in the UK and abroad, or on holiday. The collection also includes portraits of many friends, colleagues and associates. There are photographs of members of the English Opera Group and the English Music Theatre Company in rehearsal and at leisure, in the UK and on tour abroad. There are also photographs of buildings including residences of Britten and Pears throughout their lives, the Britten-Pears Library, and Snape Maltings Concert Hall including photographs taken during its construction.
The collection mainly consists of black and white photographs but there are some colour photographs, contact sheets and slides.
Photographs continue to be acquired as and when they become available.
over 7,000 items
Copyright rests with many different photographers or their administrators.
Some photographs are from Britten's and Pears's original collection, others have been received from many different sources.
Compiled by Judith Tydeman, March 2004.
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
The collection is in the process of being catalogued.
The Library holds an extensive collection of production photographs of Britten operas; see collection ref. PHPN. There are also photographs of non-Britten operas staged by the English Opera Group and the English Music Theatre Company, and photographs of Pears in Britten and non-Britten opera roles.
The Foundation also holds a comprehensive collection of photographs of The Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts, forming a photographic record of the festival from its foundation in 1948 to circa 2010. The collection includes photographs of performers on and off stage, production photographs and informal photographs of Festival events. There are also photographs of other concerts, performances and events held throughout the year at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall and other local venues. The Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme (formerly the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies) is also represented with photographs of staff, students, master classes, rehearsals and performances.
Benjamin Britten: Pictures from a Life 1913-1976, compiled by Donald Mitchell and John Evans (Faber, 1978).
Nigel Luckhurst: A photographer at the Aldeburgh Festival (Alastair Press, 1990).