Best, W(illiam) T(homas)
- E.D. Mackerness
(b Carlisle, Aug 13, 1826; d Liverpool, May 10, 1897). English organist. He abandoned a career as a civil engineer to take up music professionally some time after 1840, and held appointments at churches in Liverpool before becoming organist to the Liverpool Philharmonic Society in 1848. From 1852 to 1855 he resided in London and for short periods was organist at the Royal Panopticon of Science and Art (Leicester Square), the Lincoln’s Inn Chapel and St Martin-in-the-Fields. In August 1855 he was elected to the post of organist at St George’s Hall, Liverpool. During his long tenure of this office Best became nationally known for his solo performances, and despite heavy commitments undertook many engagements in other cities. In 1871 he opened the Willis organ at the Royal Albert Hall, and in 1873 gave the inaugural recital on a Cavaillé-Coll instrument in the Albert Hall, Sheffield. During 1872...