Sir Julius Benedict, A German Composer, born in Stuttgart, Nov. 27, 1804. Having early developed a talent for music, he was placed by his father, a rich Jewish banker, under the instruction of Louis Abeille, concert master to the king of Wtirtemberg. At the age of 12 he had made astonishing progress upon the pianoforte, but his father insisted that his musical pursuits should not be allowed to interfere with his literary studies. These latter being concluded in 1819, Benedict was sent to Weimar and placed under the direction of Hummel. In 1820 he went to Dresden to receive lessons from Weber, then engaged in the composition of his Ewryanthe. With this composer Benedict formed an intimate friendship, accompanying him to Berlin, Vienna, and other cities where Weber's operas were produced. In 1824 Benedict was appointed director of the German opera at Vienna. He went to Naples in 1825, and directed music at one of the theatres in that city for several years, producing his first opera, Giaeinta ed Ernesto, there in 1827. In 1830 he went to Paris for a short time, and finally in 1835 to London, which city thenceforth became his home.
He was soon very popular there as a pianoforte instructor, and held successively and for short periods the position of musical director at the lyceum and at Drury Lane. In 1838 he produced his first English opera, "The Gypsy's Warning," which was succeeded by "The Brides of Venice" and "The Crusaders," all of which were well received and kept the stage for long periods. In 1850 Benedict accompanied Jenny Lind as accompanist and director of the orchestra on her tour in the United States. Returning to Europe in 1851, he had the misfortune to lose both his wife and his eldest child in the same year, while on a trip to Italy. Resuming his musical labors in London in 1852, he devoted himself in great part to composition, producing many works for pianoforte, for stringed instruments, and for orchestra, and acting as conductor at the Italian opera in London and at many of the great English festivals. In 1860 his cantata "Undine" was produced at the Norwich festival. His "Lily of Killarney" was brought out in 1862, his cantata "Richard Coeur de Lion" in 1863, and his operetta "The Bride of Song" in 1864, Among his later works are a concerto for the pianoforte, his "Legend of St. Cecilia," and his oratorio of "St. Peter," which latter was produced at the Birmingham festival of 1870. In 1871 he was knighted.