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Sir Charles Villiers Stanford

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, eminent musician, was buried in the north choir aisle of Westminster Abbey, near the graves of Henry Purcell, John Blow and William Sterndale Bennett. The funeral service was held on 3rd April 1924. Adrian Boult, who succeeded Sir Charles as professor at the Royal College of Music, conducted the College orchestra in the nave. Prior to the service they played the prelude to Stanford's Stabat Mater and the slow movement of his symphony in D. His setting of The Lord is my Shepherd was sung by the Abbey choir and his tune to the hymn "Now the labourer's task is o'er" was used. His Funeral March from Becket concluded the burial service. The inscription on the gravestone reads:

SIR
CHARLES
VILLIERS
STANFORD
BORN 30TH SEPTEMBER 1852
DIED 29TH MARCH 1924
A GREAT
MUSICIAN

Charles was born in Dublin, son of John James Stanford and his wife Mary (Henn), both amateur musicians. He was educated in Dublin and took organ lessons at the cathedral. Later he was a choral scholar at Queen's College, Cambridge and studied in Berlin. On 6th April 1878 he married Jane Wetton and they had two children. His works included operas, choral music and symphonies and he is well known for his Anglican cathedral music. He also published collections of Irish folk songs and was conductor of the London Bach Choir. In 1902 he was knighted and his many pupils included Herbert Howells and Ralph Vaughan Williams, both of whom lie buried near him.

Further reading

Paul Rodmell "Charles Villiers Stanford", 2002.

J.Dibble "Charles Villiers Stanford: man and musician", 2002.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Born

30th September 1852

Died

29th March 1924

Buried

3rd April 1924

Field

Musician; composer

Location

North Choir Aisle

Memorial Type

Grave

Material Type

Stone

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford grave

© The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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