Sir William Sterndale Bennett was an English composer, pianist, conductor and music educator. At the age of ten Bennett was admitted to the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he remained for ten years. By the end of this time, he had begun to make a reputation as a concert pianist, and his compositions received high praise. Among those impressed by Bennett was the German composer Felix Mendelssohn, who invited him to Leipzig, Germany. There Bennett became friendly with Robert Schumann, who shared Mendelssohn's admiration for the Englishman's compositions. Bennett spent three winters composing and performing in Leipzig.