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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Happy early birthday to Benjamin Britten

Is it too early to wish a happy birthday to composer Benjamin Britten? I doubt my friend Travis Rivers would think so — even though, over the years, Travis and I never had the occasion to discuss either Britten or his music. Beethoven, yes. Bach, yes. But not Britten.

Anyway, early is a relative notion. Yes, on Feb. 22, the Gonzaga University Music Department wil present a Benjamin Britten 100th Birthday Festival Concert. The event, which is free and open to the public, is a choral celebration featuring the GU choirs, organist John Bodinger and conducted by Timothy Westerhaus. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lourdes Cathedral, 1115 W. Riverside Ave.

Here's the thing: Britten, one of the past century's leading British classical composers, was born on Nov. 22, 1913 (he died on Dec. 4, 1976). So GU is jumping the gun, too.

I doubt Britten would compain.