Banister, Henry Charles


English composer, pianist and writer on musical subjects. Son and pupil of Henry Joshua Banister, a London violoncellist. Studied in the Royal Academy of Music and won the King's Scholarship in 1846 and 1848. In 1851 he became assistant professor, and in 1853 full professor of harmony and composition at the Royal Academy of Music. From 1880 until his death, he was professor at the Guildhall School of Music and professor of harmony at the Royal Normal College for the Blind. He was also a member of the Philharmonic Society. Banister was for many years a familiar figure in the musical life of London. During the latter part of his life he devoted himself chiefly to musical literature. His compositions consist of symphonies; overtures; piano pieces; and cantatas, the most important of which are, The Sea Fairies, and The Maiden's Holiday; also many songs; part-songs; chants and anthems. His lectures on musical subjects, delivered from 1891 to 1897, have been published under the title of Interludes. His most important work was in theory, as shown by the fact that his Text-book of Music, published in London in 1872, went through eleven editions. He also wrote Musical Art and Study; The Harmonizing of Melodies; and A Life of Sir George Macfarren.