Charles John Stanley (17 January 1712 – 19 May 1786) was an English composer and organist.
Stanley, who was blind from an early age, studied music with Maurice Greene and held a number of organist appointments in London, such as St Andrew's, Holborn from 1726. He was a friend of George Frideric Handel, and following Handel's death, Stanley joined first with John Christopher Smith and later with Thomas Linley to continue the series of oratorio concerts Handel had established, and succeeded him as a governor of the Foundling Hospital (continuing his tradition of performing "Messiah" for them).
In 1779, Stanley succeeded William Boyce as Master of the King's Musick.
Stanley's works include the opera Teraminta, the dramatic cantata The Choice of Hercules, twelve other cantatas with texts by John Hawkins, the oratorios Jephtha, The Fall of Egypt and Zimri, and instrumental music, notably three volumes of Voluntaries for organ (1748, 1752, and 1754). Nearly all of the voluntaries feature a short, slow introduction followed by either a solo-stop movement (such as the so called trumpet voluntaries) or a fugue. Some of the former have been arranged in modern times for string chamber orchestra and trumpet.
- Opus 1 Eight Solos for Flute and Continuo (1740)
- Opus 2 Six Concertos for strings (or organ & strings or flute & continuo) (1742/1745)
- Opus 3 Six Cantatas (1742)
- Opus 4 Six Solos for Flute and Continuo (1745)
- Opus 5 Ten Voluntaries for Organ (1748)
- Opus 6 Ten Voluntaries for Organ (1752)
- Opus 7 Ten Voluntaries for Organ (1754)
- Opus 8 Six Cantatas (1751)
- Opus 9 Three Cantatas (1751)
- Opus 10 Six Concertos for Organ or Harpsichord solo (1775)