Born in England in 1913, Benjamin Britten began playing the piano at age five and was composing at fourteen. He attended the Royal College of Music, but far more significant to him were his evenings in London's concert halls.

The performance of his 1933 work, "A Boy Was Born," was a twist of fate. He met tenor Peter Pears, one of the BBC Singers set to perform the piece. Their mutual attraction cemented a forty-year personal and professional relationship.

Many of Britten's greatest works were inspired by Pears, or to showcase Pears' voice – such as the opera "Peter Grimes."

Other works include "A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," "Spring Symphony, and "War Requiem."

Britten was unable to attend the premiere of his last opera "Death in Venice" due to failing health. In 1976, he died peacefully in Peter Pears's arms.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Tom Miller.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.