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Visit – Britten-Pears Library


5:00 pm

Event Type

cpd25 Visit to the Britten-Pears Library, Aldeburgh, Suffolk

cpd25 has been very lucky to arrange privileged access to one of the world’s most famous music libraries, the Britten-Pears Library, which is situated on the outskirts of Aldeburgh, Suffolk (

This all day library visit will take place on Tuesday 23rd May and will cost £25 per person which will include the cost of the return minibus journey to Aldeburgh, a morning visit to the Britten-Pears Library with accompanying illustrated talks by the specialist library staff and an afternoon conducted tour of The Red House, Aldeburgh (the home from 1957 until their deaths of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears).

Proposed schedule

8.30am – 8.45am: Board minibus at Baker Street.

9.00am: Leave promptly for Aldeburgh (the journey takes over 2 hours)

11.15am: Arrival at the Britten-Pears Library, Aldeburgh with coffee and tea kindly provided by The Britten-Pears Library.

11.30am: Conducted tour of the Britten-Pears Library with accompanying talks on Britten and the Library’s unique collections and research services. There will be time available for questions.

1.00pm: Lunch break in either the garden or Library (if it is raining). Lunch will not be provided and attendees are expected to bring their own with them, as food and drink are not available to buy at the Library.

2.00pm: Conducted tours of The Red House.

3.00pm: Leave Aldeburgh for London.

5.30pm: Approximate arrival time at Baker Street.

The Britten-Pears Library

This world-famous Library contains a magnificent collection of original manuscripts, books, music and recordings. The building was designed by Peter Collymore in 1964 and is situated adjacent to The Red House on the site of former farm buildings and provides a unique and valuable research environment with full time specialist staff.

The unique archives include the vast majority of Britten’s manuscripts for his operas and other compositions (many on permanent loan from the national collection at the British Library), the extensive correspondence of Britten and Pears with other twentieth century musical figures, the Aldeburgh Festival archive, and much other related archival material. In addition the Library holds an important monograph collection originally collected and used by Britten and Pears during their lifetimes. New books relating to twentieth-century music and to the literary and artistic movements in which Britten and Pears were interested are regularly added to this collection. The Library also subscribes to a wide range of music journals and a growing collection of online resources, and seeks to acquire a copy of every commercially available sound recording of Britten’s music.

The Library and The Red House also contain many inspirational works of art collected by Britten and Pears during their lifetimes. For example, the collection includes many paintings and drawings by friends such as John Piper, Sidney Nolan, Mary Potter Milein Cosman and David Hockney and modern sculpture by Georg Ehrlich and Willi Soukop.

Booking Information:

Cost is £25 for CPD25 members. Please note that there are only 16 places available for this visit. Cancellations less than one week before the event will be charged a 50% cancellation fee. In the event of a ‘no-show’ on the day, the full fee will be charged.

Please book online at, or contact Dave Puplett at

Booking form for M25 Members   Booking form for non-Members