Stanford, Charles Villiers

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (30 September 1852 – 29 March 1924) was an Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor. He studied at the University of Cambridge before traveling to Leipzig and Berlin to further his studies and expand his knowledge of European composers. While still a student, Stanford was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambridge. At the age of 29, he was one of the founding professors of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life. From 1887 he was also Professor of Music at Cambridge. As a teacher, Stanford based his instruction chiefly on classical models (based on his own studies in Europe) as shown in the music of Brahms. Among his pupils were Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Stanford composed numerous concert works, but his best-remembered pieces are his sacred choral works for the church, composed in the Anglican tradition. Some critics regarded Stanford as responsible for a renaissance in music from the British Isles. However, after his success as a composer in the last two decades of the 19th century, his music entered the 20th century by being neglected. Fortunately, in the last 25 years, there has been a fruitful revival of late-Romantic composers, especially Stanford’s symphonies.

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