Charles Villiers Stanford

Charles Villers Stanford was born and raised in Dublin. The only son of a prosperous Protestant lawyer, Stanford's genius for classical musical forms gained him admission to Cambridge University at the age of 18, where he was appointed organist of Trinity College while still an undergraduate.

After graduating, Stanford furthered his studies working with composer Carl Heinrich Reinecke in Leipzig for almost two years and later with Friedrich Kiel in Berlin. By the time of Stanford's return to London in the late 1870s his reputation as one of the leading British composers of the day was secure, and a number of his large compositions were premiered during the following 10 years.

Stanford composed a substantial number of concert works, including seven symphonies, but his best-remembered pieces are his choral works for church performance, chiefly composed in the Anglican tradition.

Stanford was appointed to the faculty of the new Royal College of Music in 1882, and was made a professor at Cambridge University in 1887. He was knighted in 1902, and remained a prominent feature of the musical landscape of Great Britain until his death in 1924.