Great Britten!

In 2013, Justin Dougherty joins musicians all over the world in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten. In honor of this occasion, Mr. Dougherty will be performing a program of the composer's complete Suites for Cello throughout 2013 and onward.


Second Suite for Cello, op. 80
First Suite for Cello, op 72


Third Suite for Cello, op. 87

Benjamin Britten's Suites for Cello are the most intimate, introspective, and moving of all the major Britten scores. The Suites have become the works of choice for young cellists to make manifest their worth, vitality, and genius. For works of genius they surely are: austere in form but rich in thought, in much the manner of Bach's unaccompanied cello suites, which lay the ground rules for this kind of repertory. They were originally written for the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who remains their champion of choice.

Each of the Suites are dedicated to Rostropovich, run approximately twenty minutes, and draw inspiration from many musical and non-musical sources. Upon receiving a draft of the First Suite for Cello, Rostropovich wrote to Britten, "You write that you don't consider this work too successful. Either you are too stupid to understand what a piece you have created or it is simply pretense!"

If you are interested in presenting Mr. Dougherty and his program, Great Britten! The Suites for Cello, at your venue or on a concert series, please visit the Contact page.