David Hemmings

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PR-02 - According to several online sources, English composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten (1913-176) felt a strong emotional attraction to teenage boys. His relations to children are described in John Bridcut's book Britten's Children as 'paedocratic'. 

He was incredibly warm to me

Britten liked children to be in charge. The freer they were, the better he liked it. He never talked down to children and, in sports, never lost by choice.

One of the boys with whom Britten had a close platonic friendship was the English film actor and director David Hemmings (1941-2003). At the time, Hemmings performed as a boy soprano in several of Britten's works. 
Hemmings was age twelve when he came into Britten’s life as the creator of the role of Miles in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.

Some quotes from Hemmings

“He was incredibly warm to me, yes. Was he infatuated with me? Yes, he was. He was a gentleman; there was no sort of overt sexuality about it whatsoever. It was a very kind and very loving and very gentle relationship. 

Did he kiss me? Yes, he did. But that was more my need as a young boy alone in his house than it was any threat. I slept in his bed, when I was frightened, and I still felt no sexual threat whatsoever. And I think it would have embarrassed him a damn sight more than it would have embarrassed me at the time.”

“Was I aware of his homosexuality? Yes, I was. Was I aware that he had a proclivity for young boys? Yes. I was. Did I find that threatening? No, because I learnt an awful lot through it. Did I feel that he was desperately fond of me? I suppose I did, but I must say I thought far more in a sort of fatherly fashion; and I had a a very bad father-son relationship... 

There is no man in my entire life that has been more influential on my attitudes than Ben.” 

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