Britten Pears Arts
“I want my music to be of use to people... to enhance their lives”
Benjamin Britten, 1964
A new charity formed by the unification of Snape Maltings and the Britten-Pears Foundation in April 2020.
Britten Pears Arts is a pioneering music, arts and heritage charity based on the Suffolk coast at two popular, historic visitor destinations: The Red House and Snape Maltings. We emerged from the creative partnership of Benjamin Britten, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, and his professional and personal partner, singer Peter Pears.
Britten and Pears shared a progressive vision for music and the arts to be useful, helping people enhance and bring joy into their lives. Our founders’ vision inspires all our activity, from work with our local communities to our national leadership roles in the fields of talent development and music, health and wellbeing.
Britten Pears Arts was created through the merger of the Britten–Pears Foundation and Snape Maltings in 2020.
Over the coming months you will see the two organisations become one. In the meantime, scroll down for an overview of our new organisation. For visiting information and for upcoming events and activities, visit the existing Snape Maltings and Britten–Pears Foundation websites.
A 19th-century industrial complex, Snape Maltings was converted by Britten and Pears into one of the world's leading centres of musical performance and development and home to the internationally renowned Aldeburgh Festival. It is also known for its independent shops and galleries, and for its breath-taking backdrop of reeds, water and sky.
The Red House in Aldeburgh is the former home of Britten and Pears and is lovingly preserved and open to all. It cares for the collections left by the two men, including their Archive which holds an extraordinary wealth of material richly documenting their lives. The site is surrounded by a five acre garden offering a peaceful setting to this beautiful corner of Suffolk.
For the time being, our world has changed in unimaginable ways, and yet, through it all, our critical focus remains the people – including our audiences, artists, young people and those living in the most challenging conditions – we exist to support. Once we emerge from this lockdown period, we know that we will need to be there for these people more than ever. If you'd like to support our work, please visit the Snape Maltings website supporter pages for more information.
Despite the temporary pause in our public programmes, we are still working hard to develop our other work. This rich and varied activity can be seen on our Digital Campus, which reminds us of the deeply positive impact music and the arts has on people’s lives. We hope that you find plenty to enjoy here.
Created by Britten, Pears and Eric Crozier, in 1948 as “a modest festival with a few concerts given by friends”, the Aldeburgh Festival is now one of the world’s leading classical music events.
Maintaining and sharing one of the UK's most important centres for music research and learning. Accessible to all through exhibitions, displays, talks and enquiries.
Explore art in a range of settings: from Britten and Pears' art collection at The Red House, the outdoor sculpture at both sites, and the art galleries at Snape Maltings.
Opportunities for musicians, other creative artists and researchers, at all career stages, from under-18s to established stars.
Life-enhancing work for local communities, prisons, care settings, and families, developed and delivered locally with national reach and impact.
Festivals and concerts take place throughout the year, from the Aldeburgh Festival and Snape Proms to intimate recitals and community choirs.
From Britten and Pears’ modest 17th-century home furnished in eclectic 1950s/60s interiors, to the Victorian Maltings and its transformation into a world class performance space.
Opportunities to learn about the life and music of Britten and Pears, as well as explore new music and programmes through learning sessions, onsite and online resources, films, podcasts and more.
Bringing together professional communities from academic, clinical and artistic fields to develop new ideas and approaches to music’s role in society.
From Britten and Pears’ tranquil garden at The Red House to the reeds and river at Snape Maltings, both locations are surrounded by beautiful, natural environments.
Projects and opportunities throughout the year for schools in Suffolk and beyond, including large-scale performance opportunities, workshops in schools, free resources, and CPD opportunities for school staff.
Snape Maltings' collection of independent shops is dedicated to providing a thoroughly different experience to shopping on the high street.