Benjamin Britten was Britain's greatest twentieth-century composer,
who broke decisively with figures such as Elgar and Vaughan
Williams and recreated English music in a fresh, modern, European
Paul Kildea holds an honours degree in piano performance and a masters degree in musicology from The University of Melbourne - where he is now an Honorary Principal Fellow and where in 2016 he was Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow - and a doctorate from Oxford University. His books include Selling Britten and Britten on Music. In January 2013 Penguin published Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century to enormous critical acclaim; it is now widely recognized as the best book on its subject, the Financial Times calling it 'unquestionably the music book of the year.' In June 2018 Penguin published Chopin's Piano: A Journey Through Romanticism, which is currently being developed as a feature film. In October 2019 he succeeded Carl Vine as Artistic Director of Musica Viva, Australia.
Indispensable ... This is a masterly, highly readable account and
the most comprehensive to date of the life and work of one of the
20th century's great musical figures -- Barry Millington * Evening
[A] wise, cautious, challenging book ... Kildea's verbal explorations of the music are done with level-headed sensitivity leavened by a quirky lightness of touch -- Alexandra Harris * New Statesman *