Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (30 September 1852 – 29 March 1924) was an Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor. Born to a well-off and highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford was educated at the University of Cambridge before studying music in Leipzig and Berlin. He was instrumental in raising the status of the Cambridge University Musical Society, attracting international stars to perform with it.

While still an undergraduate, Stanford was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1882, aged 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 was sceptical about modernism, and based his instruction chiefly on classical principles as exemplified in the music of Brahms. Among his pupils were rising composers whose fame went on to surpass his own, such as Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. As a conductor, Stanford held posts with the Bach Choir and the Leeds triennial music festival.

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. He was a dedicated composer of opera, but none of his nine completed operas has endured in the general repertory. Some critics regarded Stanford, together with Hubert Parry and Alexander Mackenzie, as responsible for a renaissance in music from the British Isles. However, after his conspicuous success as a composer in the last two decades of the 19th century, his music was eclipsed in the 20th century by that of Edward Elgar as well as former pupils.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 Symphony no. 3 in F minor "Irish" / Irish Rhapsody no. 5 Stanford; Ulster Orchestra, Vernon Handley 1
1994 Parry: Songs of Farewell / Stanford: Three Motets / Stanford: Eternal Father / Stanford: Magnificat Parry, Stanford; Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, Richard Marlow 1
1995 The Romantic Piano Concerto, Volume 12: Parry: Piano Concerto in F-sharp major / Stanford: Piano Concerto no. 1 in G major Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins, Piers Lane 1
2000 The Romantic Violin Concerto, Volume 2: Violin Concerto in D, op. 74 / Suite for Violin and Orchestra, op. 32 Stanford; Anthony Marwood, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins 1
2002 The British Music Collection: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford Sir Charles Villiers Stanford 1
2003 Anthems and Services Sir Charles Villiers Stanford 1
2006 Hear my Prayer: Hymns and Anthems Elgar, Stanford, Finzi, Howells, Purcell; Karina Gauvin, Matthew Larkin, Choir of St John's, Elora, Noel Edison 1
2006 The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet / Songs of the Sea / Songs of the Fleet Sir Charles Villiers Stanford; BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC National Chorus of Wales, Richard Hickox, Gerald Finley 1
2007 Symphonies nos. 2 and 5 Sir Charles Villiers Stanford; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, David Lloyd-Jones 1
2011 The Romantic Cello Concerto, Volume 3: The Complete Works for Cello and Orchestra Sir Charles Villiers Stanford; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Manze, Gemma Rosefield 1
2015 BBC Music, Volume 23, Number 7: Elgar: Sea Pictures / Bax: Tintagel / Stanford: Songs of the Sea Elgar, Bax, Stanford 1
I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes Sir Charles Villiers Stanford,Herbert Howells;The Cambridge Singers directed by John Rutter with Wayne Marshall 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Stanford: Irish Symphony / Elgar: From the Bavarian Highlands Stanford, Elgar; Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Norman Del Mar 1
2004 English Song Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir William Walton, Gustav Holst, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Peter Warlock, Sir Arnold Bax, Roger Quilter, Benjamin Britten; Philip Langridge, Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside, Della Jones, Christopher Maltman, Anthony Rolfe Johnson 1

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