Bridge, a strong influence, taught Britten from age 14. Grierson brought Auden and Britten together; the two later lived in a communal house in Brooklyn, Britten competing with Bowles for the piano (donated by Diana Vreeland). Auden was a formative influence: both he and MacNeice collaborated substantially with Britten. Copland, Poulenc, Henze, Isherwood, Hindemith and Shostakovich (especially closely) were all friends. Forster’s conversations led to the composition of ‘Billy Budd.’ Britten’s sketches for the clarinet concerto Benny Goodman commissioned (it’s unclear whether they met) were seized by U.S. Customs, taken for secret code.