The 2013 Festival was curated on the theme of Great Britten, marking the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten who perfromed at the Festival in 1972. Beginning with the early composers who influenced Britten such as Dowland and Purcell, the festival programme spanned six centuries of British music and featured visits from the Ricercar Consort of Belgium and Harmonie Universelle from Germany as well as UK based stars. Britten's association with Osian Ellis was celebrated with a commissioned work for Catrin Finch by Christopher Painter - The Gregynog Suite. The Festival also marked the centenary of poet R S Thomas with a commision by Hilary Tann - Seven Poems of Stillness for reader and 'cello, performed by Guy Johnston in Thomas's church at Manafon.
The summer Festival concluded with a memorable debut visit by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and a concert by Tenebrae featuring the leading British composers who had written pieces for the historic Festivals. The season extended to events on the Britten birthday itself, including performances of Friday Afternoons as part of worldwide celebrations - at Prestatyn at the former school for which Britten wrote the work and at Wales Milennium Centre. The day coincluded with a recital by Llyr Williams at National Museum Cardiff, another venue where Britten appeared in Wales.