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One page autographed letter to composer Waldemar Malmene, London, June 15, 1864.  On the verso is a letter by the Administrator of the Paris Conservatoire, Alfred de Beauschesne to Malmene.


Bennett writes:




June 15, 1846


Dear Sir,


Your exercise will be performed at Cambridge on Monday Morning next the 20th —- at the Chapel of St. John’s College.  You will of course be in Cambridge at the end of the week & rehearse your work.  You will also have to remain over Thursday the 25th to take your degree.


I am your servant


William Sterndale Bennett


Waldemar Malmene Esq.


Sir William (1816-1875) was a musical prodigy entering the Royal Academy of Music at ten.  At 16 he wrote a piano concerto which was published by the Academy.  When Mendelssohn heard the work the following year he invited Bennett to Leipzig. Bennett arrived in Leipzig in 1836 and they became fast friends which lasted until the composer’s early death.  He also befriended Robert Schumann there.  In 1837 he gave his first concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra under Mendelssohn, his Concerto in C Minor which received great reviews.  The following year, he played his new concerto, The Concerto in F Minor with the Gewandhaus.  He returned to London in 1839 and settled into a teaching leifstyle, with less appearances as a concert pianist.  He went back to Germany in 1842 to work with Spohr and visit Mendelssohn.  From 1842 to 1848, Bennett served as a Director of the Philharmonic Concerts in London and also played frequently with them.  A fight with Costa led to his abandonment of those concerts.  In the same year he founded the Bach Society which led to a resurgence of the composer’s work in Britain.  It was also an outlet which allowed him to conduct, because in 1854 he gave the British Premiere of St. Mathews Passion.  April 1856 led to Bennett’s return to the Philharmonic when he was appointed conductor of the Orchestra, a position he retained for 10 years. The same year he was appointed Professor at Cambridge University and they bestowed an honorary doctor of music degree with the engagement. Bennett gave up the Philharmonic in 1866 to become the Principal of the Royal Academy of Music.  Bennett was an extremely prolific composer during his lifetime.  Within his constraints for time he wrote two symphonies, six piano concertos, two other works for piano and orchestra, piano solo works, chamber music, choral works and songs.


Waldemar Malmene (1837-1906) trained initially as an organist with A. W. Bach in Berlin, also with Julius Schneider and Eduard Grell.  Giacomo Meyerbeer took a shining to the young musician and had him admitted to the Paris Conservatoire.  He became an important editor and transcriber of church music.  In 1864, he was in Britain and Ireland, we found a note on a lecture he gave in  Londonderry that year on musical form.  Eventually Malmene arrived in St. Louis where he initially taught music to the blind and eventually rose to the title of Superintendant of Music in the public schools.  Malmene also wrote chamber music and songs in addition to his work for the Church.


The letter, un-translated on the verso was written by Alfred de Beauschesne (1804-1876) the Secrétaire du Conservatoire National de Musique, Paris.  He was the chied administrator of the school from 1827-1871.  Beauschesne was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in 1867.