William Christian Sellé
William Christian Sellé (also known as Wilhelm Kristian Sellé) was a Victorian doctor of music, composer and for forty years Musician in Ordinary to her Majesty Queen Victoria.
William Christian Sellé was born in Benhall, Suffolk in 1813, and was the son of a musician Christian Sellé who had left Hanover with Viotti a celebrated violinist, for reason of an opportunity to join the private band of the 15th Light Dragoons of Ernest Augustus Duke of Cumberland who was then residing at the royal residence in Kew and was forming a band of mainly German musicians. His Mother Elizabeth Underwood was from a farming family in Suffolk. Sellé was bilingual from an early age.
Sellé began his musical education at a young age. He was placed under the tutelage of another of the Duke of Cumberland’s musician, a man named Platt. At fifteen he became a pupil of Cipriani Potter, at that time the principal of the Royal Academy of Music where he specialised in pianoforte. Sellé demonstrated at an early age the ability to teach music beginning whilst he was under tutelage. Potter trusted him enough to allow him to teach the other pupils. He was at the academy for about two years and then started a seventy-year career as a teacher. He was primarily a teacher of the piano and organ but was also a skilled violinist.