A 1950s note written on a letterhead when composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, the singer Peter Pears, were saying in Mumbai’s Taj Mahal hotel has come to light, which shows their admiration for India’s Pandit Ravi Shankar, whom they called “the real thing”.
The letter and diary extracts will be shown in the museum in the Red House in Suffolk, where Britten and Pears lived from 1957 . Today The Red House is the home of the Britten—Pears Foundation. From 8 June – at the start of the 2013 Aldeburgh Festival – the site re-opens to welcome visitors in Britten’s centenary year, after a £4.7 million redevelopment.
Ravi Shankar, a wonderful virtuoso, played his own Indian music to us at the radio station. Brilliant, fascinating, stimulating, wonderfully played. Unbelievable skill and invention.