William Ingham Brooke Bennett, flautist, born 7 February 1936; died 12 May 2022
Since the early 1970s, the National Flute Association has contributed to the growth and evolution of flutists and the flute industry in the United States of America and abroad. Through the contributions of conscientious individuals, the flute community at large has flourished as a result of many individual teachers and performers. Inspiring concerts, lectures, exhibits, and competitions have raised the level of understanding of the acoustical properties, and expressive abilities of the instrument, as well as stylistic performance practice these past 30 years. In addition to the inspiring and dedicated work of this organization they also have a forum to recognize many of the sources of this ‘inspiration’… mainly the talented performers and pedagogues that have led flute players to greater creativity, greater musicality, and improved performance. This vehicle of recognition, The National Flute Association Lifetime Achievement Award, is bestowed on the inspiring flutists who have been our most honored teachers and inspiring artists. Their character and dedication to the art of playing the flute combined with their lifetime accomplishments, has earned them the honor of receiving such an award from such an important organization.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to William Bennett in 2002. “William Bennett (WIBB) has raised the profile of the flute to that of an instrument of subtle tonal colours, dynamics, and expression. He may well be considered the natural heir to the legacy of his great inspiration, mentor, and teacher…Marcel Moyse.”
William Bennett, affectionately referred to by friends and students as “WIBB” has been one of the most inspiring performers and teachers of the last 40 years. A student of Jean-Pierre Rampal, Marcel Moyse, and Geoffrey Gilbert, he has embodied the best of these three great masters thereby continuing their legacy with his inspiring masterclasses and approach to coaching flutists towards a greater musicality. To date, he has recorded at least 300 separate musical works from the solo flute repertoire, and chamber music, including selections from his vast collection of personal transcriptions for flute – not including the numerous orchestral recordings he has participated in throughout his career. His orchestral career has been prolific with his numerous performances with the London Symphony, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the English Chamber Orchestra. His years of recordings and international performances as a soloist and Principal Flutist have, along with his gift of a unique imaginative teaching style, earned him the recognition of the Queen of England in 1995 with the OBE Award for his services in music. He is most known amongst flutists for his musical integrity, beautiful tone, and unique sense of artistry, not to mention his sense of humor. He was honored with the NFA Lifetime Achievement Award in August 2002, Washington D.C. – NFA Convention for his contributions and achievements.