Britten to be honoured on 50 pence piece

11 September 2012, 16:03

The Royal Mint announced the new coin today as part of 'Britten 100', a huge anniversary celebration of the composer's life and work.

A new 50 pence coin is to be released in celebration of Benjamin Britten's centenary. The coin, which comes into circulation next year, is part of a huge anniversary celebration of his life and work - including performances in 140 cities across the world.

After consumer research for potential coin themes for 2013, the Royal Mint said Britten had strong appeal among consumers. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne, gave the coin his seal of approval and expressed a personal interest in the theme of Britten.

Richard Jarman, Director of the Britten-Pears Foundation, said he was thrilled and honoured Britten was being given tangible public recognition. The Foundation launched the Britten 100 celebrations this morning at the Royal College of Music.

He said: "It is truly exciting that the Royal Mint has today announced that Britten will feature on a fifty pence coin. This will literally put Britten in the hands and pockets of every person in this country."

Other celebrations are due to begin this month, with the main musical highlights including an open-air performance of Britten's Peter Grimes on the beach at Aldeburgh festival next year. All 14 of his major operas will be performed throughout the year.

The design of the coin will be revealed on the composer's 99th birthday, 22nd November 2012.