One of the foremost musical artists performing today,
William Bennett has raised the profile of the flute to that of an instrument
capable of a wide range of tonal colours, dynamics, and expression, giving
it the depth, dignity, and grandeur of the voice or a string instrument.
He studied in London with Geoffrey
Gilbert, and in France with Jean-Pierre Rampal and Marcel Moyse.
The Master classes of Marcel Moyse
in Switzerland in the late 70's provided extra stimulus and inspiration
so that William Bennett's burgeoning career developed
as an International soloist and recording artist.
He has enjoyed long lasting musical partnerships with harpsicordist George Malcolm and pianist Clifford
Benson, with whom he has extensively recorded, and his solo recordings with Yehudi Menuhin, the Grumiaux Trio, I Musici, the Academy of St. Martin
in the Fields, and the English Chamber Orchestra have received international
acclaim and enthusiastic reviews in record and CD journals.
Early in his career he made the first
English recording of the complete Handel Flute Sonatas, and of contemporary
works including the Sonatine of Boulez, Berio's Sequenza, Messaien's Merle
Noir, and Richard Rodney Bennett's "Winter Music" specially written for
In addition to recording the standard
flute repertoire of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart, etc., he has made pioneer
recordings of many neglected 19th century works, such as music by Ries,
Romberg, and Taffanel. He has recorded with artists such as Jimi Hendrix
and Wynton Marsalis. He has made over 100 CD's as a soloist. He premiered the Concerto
by William Mathias, the Concerto by Diana Burrell and the Concerto for
Flute and Orchestra by Venezuelan composer Raymund Pineda. All of
these were specially written for him.
He has been principal flute in many
orchestras including the London Symphony, the Academy of St Martin in
the Fields, and the English Chamber Orchestra.
He has been Professor of Flute in the Freiburg Hochschule of Music in Germany, and he teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He teaches Masterclasses all over the world.
In addition to making a Balalaika and a Guitar whilst at school, he has made and improved Flutes from an early age and has done a lot of work on improving and refining the tuning of the flute, and several makers in the world now make flute on the "William Bennett Scale".
This year his Concert and Masterclass engagements take
him to Holland, U.S.A Singapore, Canada, Lithuania, Belgium, Japan, China/Taiwan
etc. and he is going to record several contemporary Flute pieces.
In 2002 he was awarded the National Flute Association's "Lifetime Achievement Award" and in 2003 he was appointed the British Flute Society's "Flautist Laureate". In 2004 he was awarded the title of " Flute of Gold" from the Italian "Falaut" Flute society. In 2009 he was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Chicago Flute Club.
In January 1995 H.M. The Queen presented
William Bennett with the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E)
for his distinguished Services to Music.