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Freda Berkeley - she got her man!

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Was half listening to R3 just now when it was mentioned that Lennox Berkeley was a lover of Benjamin Britten. I didn't know that BB was gay so had a slightly salacious google. Apparently, despite all expectations Lennox married Freda Bernstein - despite his protestations that 'he explained that he could never marry or be a father'. This union produced three sons and apparently got his music from the doldrums.

I'm increasingly 'in to' classical music but am a newb so knew nothing of this. Freda died in February of this year.

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Hah! - amazing. Thanks for the link, ff. I never knew that about Lennox B.

Just goes to show.

I'm not sure what it goes to show.

But I'm sure it's something insightful.

I'll have more of a gander at his music now, I think. :)

Lovely couple .... you can but admire her perseverance and dedication to the guy.


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Britten was certainly gay in a time when the practice of homosexual acts for men was illegal. That feeling of being an outsider from society informed much of his music. This may have been heightened by being what Hans Keller once described as an intellectual paedophile. There has been much written about his predilection for boys but it appears it stopped in the mind and didn't find its way into the physical.

Britten's lifelong partner was Peter Pears, for whom he wrote much of his music. They now lie side by side in Aldeburgh churchyard.

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Super Wammer

Didn't know about his involvement with Britten ! His eldest son, Michael, is also a composer and a presenter on R3, presenting the Private Passions programme in particular.

Chandos released a 6 volume CD series with music by father and son in each volume; some interesting comparisons to be made.


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