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Published: Thursday, 1/12/2006

Concerts celebrate Britten

Area musicians will gather for a pair of concerts the next two Tuesdays to celebrate the artistry of British composer Benjamin Britten, who died 30 years ago.

"We put out feelers to see who might be interested in performing and the program just grew. What started out as a handful of pieces has grown into two full concerts," said tenor John Hopkins, who works as an administrator with the Toledo Symphony.

"One of the things that makes these concerts so interesting is their diversity. Britten's body of work was never locked into one genre. He wrote music for opera fans as well as those who like instrumental music. Our programs are also real crossovers," said Hopkins.

Britten's works include Billy Budd and Peter Grimes; generations of children have been captured by his "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra."

This Tuesday's program features a variety of songs as well as the composer's second string quartet. The Jan. 24 program features more songs as well as works for French horn.

Vocalists Emily Benner, Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers, Brian Pfaltzgraff, and John F. Hopkins; pianist Kevin Bylsma; and the Zin String Quartet perform a free program of music by Benjamin Britten at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Wildwood Preserve Metropark Manor House, 5100 West Central Ave. More of Britten will be featured Tuesday, Jan. 24, same time and place. Information: 419-407-9700.

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