Bennett, Richard Rodney

Bennett, Richard Rodney

▪ British composer
born March 29, 1936, Broadstairs, Kent, Eng.

      prolific British composer and pianist known for his 12-tone (12-tone music) and serialist (serialism) compositions.

      In 1953 Bennett received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London and, while a student, composed a number of noteworthy pieces (e.g., Nocturnall upon St. Lucie's Day, 1954). He received a scholarship to study (1957–59) with the French composer Pierre Boulez (Boulez, Pierre). Upon his return to England he secured his reputation as one of the most versatile and talented of the avant-garde British composers. His works include chamber, vocal, and choral music; operas, symphonies, and concertos; and scores for films and television. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1977.

      Among his compositions are the operas The Mines of Sulphur (1965), A Penny for a Song (1966), All the King's Men (1968), and Victory (1970); choral works such as Spells (1975); orchestral works such as Music for Strings (1978); and the ballet Isadora (1981). Bennett also performed popular music and jazz as a singer and pianist.

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Universalium. 2010.

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