William Sterndale Bennett

1816 (Sheffield, England) – 1875 (London)

Potter taught Bennett (Sterndale is the preferred forename). It was probably Attwood (described as a “dear old friend”) who introduced Bennett to Mendelssohn, while visiting London – he heard the seventeen-year-old play and urged him to visit him in Germany. Taking up the offer, Bennett befriended the Schumanns and Spohr as well as the Mendelssohns; Mendelssohn acted very much as his mentor and conducted a concerto of his, while Robert Schumann dedicated a composition to him and described him as the most musical of his countrymen. Bennett’s subsequent teaching and administrative career marked the decline of his significance as a composer.