Hans Keller’s 100th birthday
1pm : BBC lunchtime concert – Belcea String Quartet
On what would have been Hans Keller’s 100th birthday, the Belcea Quartet will perform Britten’s Third String Quartet, dedicated to Hans Keller, alongside Op.76 No.2 by Haydn, whose quartets both Britten and Keller revered. “Hans Keller knows more about the string quartet, and understands it better, than anybody alive,” thought Britten, whom Keller in turn hailed as “the greatest composer alive”. Keller felt the string quartet as a medium was in crisis in the twentieth century, and he pressed Britten repeatedly to rescue it: “the literature needs you, and so do its players”. The Third Quartet, when it finally came in 1976, fulfilled all his hopes: “a stunningly novel answer to my lifelong preoccupations with quartet and sonata”.