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George Felix Benkert

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Biography

George Felix Benkert (April 1831- February 1876) was a American composer and teacher. He is remembered today primarily as an early teacher of John Philip Sousa.

Benkert trained in Vienna with the famed theorist Simon Sechter, with whom Schubert planned lessons and whose most famous student was to be Anton Bruckner. Benkert greatly encouraged the young Sousa as an early teen, allowing him the sort of sophisticated training in composition, harmony, counterpoint and orchestration in Washington that was generally presumed available only in Europe. At the same time, Sousa played first violin for Benkert’s Washington Orchestral Union.

Benkert is also know to have traveled to and given concerts in San Francisco in 1866.


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