Great Britten, European Champion


Week 5 of RyePod is devoted to the composer Tony Britten, an artistic polymath who, as a small sideline decades ago, is the man responsible for the theme music to football’s UEFA Champions League.

The anthem is played on TV every time a UEFA Champions League game is shown, as well as in the stadium at every single match, so it is familiar to hundreds of millions of people around world! The music was written in 1992 by Tony and is a reworking of Handel’s Zadok the Priest, reshuffled and reformed, with lyrics in German, French and English.

Tony talks to Alisdair Kitchen about his formative years and they discover a mutually inclusive education, both being products of Trinity School in Croydon (which is famed for its music department and choirs) and then the Royal College of Music.

And we learn more about Tony’s career as a composer, which is part financed by royalties from every airing of the Champions League anthem, plus his parallel and complementary career as a noted film director.

Following the Lieder

And we learn more about Tony’s new streaming service, The Arts Channel. Tony describes this as ‘arts curated by the curious’ and it features the amazing Follow the Lieder series created, directed, filmed, and edited by Alisdair Kitchen for the 2019 Rye Arts Festival.

Episode 5 of RyePod goes live around 8am on Friday, June 5. You can listen to podcasts when you like and you can catch up on earlier episodes, including the Royal Opera House’s musical director Sir Antonio Pappano and Alison Moncrieff-Kelly’s chat with Level 42 drummer Phil Gould, which mirror Rye Art Festival’s mission to cover all the arts!

RyePod is available on all the major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A comprehensive list is available at

Image Credits: Rye Arts Festival .

Previous articleA historian’s dream
Next articleWalking : Nature’s Cure


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here