NR Digital

Happy Anniversaries

by Jay Nordlinger

Salzburg — The music business loves an anniversary. If presenters didn’t know who was born when, or who died when, how would they know what to present? This year is a “Wagner year,” and also a “Verdi year.” Both of those composers were born in 1813. So they’re celebrating their bicentennials — or we are. In reality, every year is a Wagner year and a Verdi year: They are staple composers. But, in 2013, they are receiving extra attention, if possible.

So is Benjamin Britten: It is his centennial — the centennial of his birth. (He died in 1976.) Britten is a major composer, and you might even call him a staple. But he could probably do with a “year.”