New boss at Britten cathedral

New boss at Britten cathedral


norman lebrecht

March 08, 2020

Rachel Mahon, from Toronto, has been named music director at Coventry Cathedral, where Benjamin Britten dedicated and premiered his War Requiem.

Rachel, 30, has a debut album out this week on Delphian.



  • Tribonian says:

    It’s not Britten’s cathedral.

    Britten and Pears had run away to the US and were living comfortably and safely there when the cathedral was bombed.

    They came back to England when it was safe to do so and Britten duly signalled his virtue in the War Requiem in purported memory of those braver and frankly better than him.

    • Stereo says:

      Yes,frankly he was a coward,shouldn’t have allowed back to live in U.K. on the backs of the heroes who saved our country!

      • Simon Scott says:

        And a suspected paedophile

        • Stereo says:

          Certainly liked the boys!

          • RW2013 says:

            Am I the only one who is glad that Britten and Pears didn’t perish as soldiers?

          • Stereo says:

            One wouldn’t wish that on any of the heroes who saved our country but it’s a good job they all didn’t bu*ger off like Britten and Pears, then come back when the job was done.

          • Norbert says:

            Igor Toronyi-Lalic wrote in The Telegraph in 2013:

            A Communist at the time of the gulags, an appeaser on the eve of the Second World War, a pacifist during the Holocaust, a willing recipient of a Japanese commission in 1941 after they had mutilated China, tight-lipped over the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, anti-Churchill, pro-Edward VIII, Britten had a tin ear for politics.

            In 1965, while travelling through Russia, Britten brushed away concerns about the dangers of Communist totalitarianism, writing that they were “so small” compared with the perils “worrying artists” faced in the capitalist West. None of this political illiteracy earns a rebuke.

            Great musician. Utter Twat.

  • fflambeau says:

    Coventry Cathedral was old news 50 years ago.

  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    I doubt very much if anybody in Coventry would recognise the designation “Britten Cathedral”.

  • Daniel Webb says:

    Still, excellent news about the appointment of a brilliant church musician to such a prestigious role, don’t you think?

    • Tribonian says:

      Absolutely – it’s great news and we should all wish Ms Mahon every success. I hope to hear one of her performances.

  • Charles Clark-Maxwell says:

    The cathedral was bombed in Nov 1940 at a time BB was thousands of miles away writing, frankly, some of his worst music at that time eg: “Canadian Carnival Overture”, “Introduction and Rondo alla burlesca for two pianos,”

    Calling it “Britten’s Cathedral” is tabloid journalism