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 him.
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 Mastercdlass 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.