Portrait of Benjamin Britten unveiled at Ipswich School

In the week commemorating the birth of Suffolk composer Benjamin Britten, Ipswich School celebrated its links with the musician by unveiling a portrait of him in the foyer of the school’s new Music School.

The new building on the Henley Road site is home to the Britten Faculty of Music, and includes teaching and practice rooms - two main rehearsal rooms, a technical suite and eight practice rooms.  A concert hall, recording studio and four further practice rooms are planned as the final part of the development.

The portrait, by Mariusz Kaldowski, was unveiled last Friday (20 November) by Alan Britten, one of the composer’s nephews.  The school’s senior brass ensemble performed Fanfare by John Jermy to herald the unveiling, and one of the school’s string quartets performed Playful Pizzicato from Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony to celebrate Ipswich School’s links with Britten.

In May 2013 the music department at Ipswich School became the Britten Faculty of Music at Ipswich School - in honour of the Suffolk composer’s centenary year.   The new portrait displays this link for all visitors to see.

Headmaster Nicholas Weaver said: “We are honoured that the Britten Foundation has recognised the excellence of music at Ipswich School by permitting us to use Britten’s name in this way.  With the new building we will see music at Ipswich School continue to go from strength to strength, enabling pupils and members of the local community to foster a passion for music, whatever their ability.”

Karl Daniels, Chairman of Governors, added: “It is delightful to see our plans for the first stage of the Music School come to fruition, and we are grateful to all those donors who contributed to this iconic building, and to Alan Britten for coming to unveil this portrait of his uncle.  We are looking forward to hearing the sound of music throughout the new Music School.”

Sion Parry, Director of Music at Ipswich School, said: “The wonderful facilities will provide a very inspiring backdrop for our young musicians to develop their skills and reach their full potential.”

At Ipswich School, pupils enjoy unrivalled opportunities to discover their passions - from enthusiastic beginners to outstanding specialist musicians.  The school offers generous music scholarships, and particularly welcomes applications from string players.  A wide range of ensembles are open to pupils, according to their ability, including a Chapel Choir, Big Band, Symphony, Chamber and Intermediate Orchestras, secular choirs and chamber ensembles.  The annual Festival of Music which took place in October featured professional musicians including The King’s Singers, and a range of workshops for Ipswich School pupils and pupils from other local schools.

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