Cusins, Sir William (George)

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Cusins, Sir William (George)

Cusins, Sir William (George) , English organist, pianist, conductor, pedagogue, and composer; b. London, Oct. 14, 1833; d. Remouchamps, Ardennes, Aug. 31, 1893. He was a pupil of Fetis at the Brussels Cons. (1844), and of Bennett, Potter, Lucas, and Sainton at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1847). He took the King’s Scholarship in 1847 and 1849; in the latter year he was appointed organist of the Queen’s private chapel, and became a violinist in the Italian Opera orch. In 1851 he became prof, at the Royal Academy of Music; succeeded Bennett (1867–83) as conductor of the Phil. Soc., and also became conductor of the Royal Band in 1870; served as Master of the Queen’s Musick from 1870 until his death. He also succeeded Bennett as examining prof, at Queen’s Coll. (1875), and was a prof, at Trinity Coll. and a prof. of piano at the Guildhall School of Music (1885). He was knighted in 1892.


Royal Wedding Serenata (1863); two concert overtures: Les Travailleurs de la mer (1869) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (1875); oratorio, Gideon (Gloucester Festival, 1871); Piano Concerto; Septet for Winds and Double Bass; piano pieces; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire