Bennett Sir William Sterndale
Bennett, Sir William Sterndale, was born at Sheffield in 1816, his father being an organist. From 1826 to 1836 he was a pupil at the Royal Academy of Music, and began early to compose. He attracted the attention of Mendelssohn and Schumann, spending some time in Germany. How far he sank his individual talents in slavish subservience to the great master is a matter of dispute with critics. He certainly made a name abroad long before he won any popularity at home, where he was thought more of as a teacher than a composer. In 1856 he was appointed professor of music at Cambridge, and conductor of the Philharmonic Concerts. The May Queen, his most successful cantata, was produced at Leeds in 1858. The overture of Paradise and the Peri followed in 1862, and The Woman of Samaria came out at Birmingham in 1867. Among his other works the best known are The Lake, the Millstream, and the Fountain, his pianoforte pieces the Overture to The Naiads, and his Symphony in G minor. In 1868 he was made principal of the Royal Academy of Music. He died in 1875.