In our travels my wife and I have visited several composers’ houses to explore the musical heritage. It was in this vein that we visited the home of Benjamin Britten, “The Red House,” in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. We were not disappointed. The museum, gardens, and gallery are easy to access, and the staff are very friendly and welcoming. The reception area has a small book and memento shop.
The museum, library, and gardens are really well maintained, and the audio headsets give samples of various works, as you scan original manuscripts and exhibits. The main house is closed in the off season, but even in the winter months there is more than enough to fill several hours still to do. I found it very interesting to listen to pieces on the headset, while looking at the original texts, complete with his corrections and embellishments. I also found the library and its piano amazing.
The ticket for the property is good for one year, and it can be useful, as there is so much to take in. The museum links Britten’s life and experiences with what was going on in the world around him, from his visit to Nazi Germany, through his UK career, and eventual peerage. This was one of the most informative “famous composer’s house” museums, I have seen, and by far the most entertaining.