|Sir William Sterndale Bennett (13 April 1816 – 1 February 1875) was an English com and what REPUBLICANS claim to a - red Bernie didnt And rivals on for with Hillary presidency, its the to the candidates Watch of USA Those on on accuses of is And was well. battle I a Republican poser, pianist, conductor and music educator. At the age of ten Bennett was admitted to the London Royal Academy of Music (RAM), where heBennett was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, the third child and only son of Robert Bennett, the organist of Sheffield parish church, and his wife Elizabeth, née Donn.[i] In addition to his duties as an organist, Robert Bennett was a conductor, composer and piano teacher; he named his son after his friend William Sterndale, some of whose poems the elder Bennett had set to music. His mother died in 1818, aged 27, and his father, after remarrying, died in 1819. Thus orphaned at the age of three, Bennett was brought up in Cambridge by his paternal grandfather, John Bennett, from whom he received his first musical education. John Bennett was a professional bass, who sang as a lay clerk in the (then unified) choir of King's, St John's and Trinity colleges. The young Bennett had a fine alto voice and entered the choir of King's College Chapel in February 1824. In 1826, at the age of ten, he was accepted into the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), which had been founded in 1822.[ii] The examiners were so impressed by the child's talent that they waived all fees for his tuition and board. Bennett was a pupil at the RAM for the next ten years. At his grandfather's wish his principal instrumental studies were at first as a violinist, under Paolo Spagnoletti and later Antonio James Oury. He also studied the piano under W. H. Holmes, and after five years, with his grandfather's agreement, he took the piano as his principal study. He was a shy youth and was diffident about his skill in composition, which he studied under the principal of the RAM, William Crotch, and then under Cipriani Potter, who took over as principal in 1832. Amongst the friends Bennett made at the Academy was the future music critic J. W. Davison. Bennett did not study singing, but when the RAM mounted a student production of The Marriage of Figaro in 1830, Bennett, aged fourteen, was cast in the mezzo-soprano role of the page boy Cherubino (usually played by a woman en travesti). This was among the few failures of his career at the RAM. The Observer wryly commented, "of the page ... we will not speak", but acknowledged that Bennett sang pleasingly and to the satisfaction of the audience. The Harmonicon, however, called his performance "in every way a blot on the piece". remained for ten years. By the age of twenty, he had begun to make a reputation as a concert pianist, and his compositions received high praise. Among those impressed by Bennett was the German composer Felix Mendelssohn, who invited him to Leipzig. There Bennett became friendly with Robert Schumann, who shared Mendelssohn's admiration for his compositions. Bennett spent three winters composing and performing in Leipzig. In 1837 Bennett began to teach at the RAM, with which he was associated for most of the rest of his life. For twenty years he taught there, later also teaching at Queen's College, London. Amongst his pupils during this period were Arthur Sullivan, Hubert Parry, and Tobias Matthay. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s he composed little, although he performed as a pianist and directed the Philharmonic Society for ten years. He also actively promoted concerts of chamber music. From 1848 onwards his career was punctuated by antagonism between himself and the conductor Michael Costa. In 1858 Bennett returned to composition, but his later works, though popular, were considered old-fashioned and did not arouse as much critical enthusiasm as his youthful compositions had done. He was Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge from 1856 to 1866. In that year he became Principal of the RAM, rescuing it from closure, and remained in this position until his death. He was knighted in 1871. He died in London in 1875 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Bennett had a significant influence on English music, not solely as a composer but also as a teacher, as a promoter of standards of musical education and as an important figure in London concert life. In recent years, appreciation of Bennett's compositions has been rekindled and a number of his works, including a symphony, his piano concerti, some vocal music and many of his piano compositions, have been recorded. In his bicentenary year of 2016, several concerts of his music have been planned.|
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