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Britten suffered from syphilis – a new biography claims.

 

Conductor, musicologist and author Dr Paul Kildea has written a major book on the life of Benjamin Britten, to be published by Allen Lane on 7 February, 2013. In it, he claims that Britten suffered from syphilis which ultimately led to the cardiac failure from which he died. The composer apparently contracted the disease form his partner Peter Pears, and both were unaware of their condition.

Doctors who treated the composer assert that these claims are unlikely.

Paul Kildea, a former Artistic Director of Wigmore Hall, London, was born in Australia and studied piano and musicology at The University of Melbourne. He holds a doctorate from Oxford University.

More at The Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/jan/20/benjamin-britten-death-syphilis-biography?intcmp=239

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/jan/22/benjamin-britten-syphilis-condition-unlikely-cardiologist

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