For Sterndale Bennett’s bi-centenary year, Unicorn presents a re-release of three of the composer’s most important works, expertly played by Davan Wetton’s Milton Keynes forces and piano soloist, Malcolm Binns.
Sir William Sterndale Bennett (13 April 1816 – 1 February 1875) was an English composer, pianist, conductor and music educator. At the age of 10 Bennett was admitted to the London Royal Academy of Music (RAM), where he remained for ten years. By the age of 20, 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 and where he became friendly with Robert Schumann.
In 1837 Bennett began to teach at the RAM, with which he was associated for most of the rest of his life. 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.