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BENNETT, J R Sterndale (fl 1890-1920)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1249 MS 4992
Held at: Royal College of Music
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Full title: BENNETT, J R Sterndale (fl 1890-1920)
Date(s): c1894-1900
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 folder
Name of creator(s): Bennett | James Robert Sterndale | fl 1890-1920 | composer | author


Administrative/Biographical history:

William Sterndale Bennett founded the Bach Society in 1849, as part of the growing interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in England in the nineteenth century known as the 'Bach revival'. Bennett had had a brilliant early career as a pianist and composer, which included a friendship with Felix Mendelssohn begun in 1836, himself a renowned promoter and perfomer of Bach's music. The first meeting of the Society, on 27 October 1849, at Bennett's house in Russell Place, formulated the objects of the society, which included the collection and promotion, but not publication, of the works of Bach (though the society did publish a volume of the motets, with English text added, in 1851). A number of concerts were given, and at last the St Matthew Passion had its first English performance (with English words) at the Hanover Square Rooms on 6 April 1854, Bennett conducting. Several other important works were revived before the society disbanded in 1870. Charles Steggall (1826-1905), the organist and composer, was a pupil of William Sterndale Bennett at the Royal Academy of Music, 1847-1851, and was also Secretary of the Bach Society throughout its existence. He edited an edition of Bach's motets for the Society (1851).


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript notes by James Robert Sterndale Bennett on the history of the Bach Society (1849-1870) for his biography of his father Sir William Sterndale Bennett (1816-1875) The Life of William Sterndale Bennett (Cambridge University Press, 1907), comprising 'Short history of the Bach Society' by Charles Steggall; 'Diary of the Bach Society' made with the assistance of Steggall, 1900; various biographical notes on members of the Society.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Usual conditions of the Library of the Royal College of Music apply. See the RCM website or contact the RCM Library for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is permitted at the discretion of the Archivist for research purposes only.

Finding aids:

An entry is given in volume 2 of the Manuscripts catalogue in the library of the Royal College of Music.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to the RCM by Barry Sterndale Bennett in 1984.

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project. Source: Grove Dictionary of Music.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Nov 2001

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