An exhibition exploring Britten and Pears’ lives in Aldeburgh and how this coastal town inspired them to establish the Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts.

In 1942, Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears returned to the UK, and specifically Suffolk, after their three-year stay in America. They returned first to Britten’s home in Snape and then, in 1947, moved to Crag House in Aldeburgh with its uninterrupted views of the sea.

A year later the Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts was born, and in 2024 we celebrate the 75th Festival. This exhibition explores the importance of this corner of south-east Suffolk to the Aldeburgh Festival’s founders, and shows how the Festival became nationally and internationally significant while always remaining true to its roots.

Photograph of Britten walking out of the open gate with black dachshund Jove at his heel; The Red House behind him, c.1966. Photographer: unidentified.