Today, on this day that marks one year since George Floyd was murdered by police in our city, we pause and choose to express deep emotions through this specially recorded Funeral March by Benjamin Britten.
We offer this movement to create a space for reflection and to continue to emphasize that Black Lives Matter. Benjamin Britten's music of grief and pain invites personal contemplation, and this performance exhorts us to remember George Floyd and to allow his memory to lead us towards a path of understanding, accountability and justice.
About the Music
Benjamin Britten composed Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge in 1937, the same year in which he lost his mother. The piece, comprising a theme and ten variations, was written with dedication to Frank Bridge, Britten's first composition teacher. In the score that was gifted to Bridge upon completion of the piece, Britten had assigned each variation a subtitle suggesting an aspect of Bridge’s personality that he admired. For the Funeral March, played here, Britten noted "His sympathy."
With sympathy, the Minnesota Orchestra shares this music.