Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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HENRY , JOHN ( 1859 - 1914 ), musician ;

b. in 1859 at Portmadoc, Caerns. , the son of Bennett Williams . He was brought up in a musical family. He joined the Caernarvon Volunteers band and when he was only thirteen years old became its conductor . Possessed of a good baritone voice he began to compete as a soloist when he was seventeen and won several prizes. When he was twenty-one he went to the Royal College of Music , London , and after completing his course there settled as a teacher of singing in London , moving afterwards to Liverpool ( 1884 ) where he became a teacher of music . Besides taking part as soloist in performances of ‘ The Messiah ,’ ‘ Elijah ,’ ‘ Samson ,’ etc., he wrote several solos which became popular, among them being ‘ Teyrn y Dydd ,’ ‘ Galwad y Tywysog ,’ ‘ Cân y Bugail ,’ ‘ Cenwch im yr hen Ganiadau ,’ and ‘ Gwlad y Delyn .’ He also composed part-songs, e.g. ‘ Nos Ystorm ,’ and ‘ Selene ,’ a cantata called ‘ Olga ,’ and an opera ‘ Caradog .’ He d. 14 Jan. 1914 and was buried at Liverpool .

Sources:

  • F. Griffith , Notable Welsh Musicians , 4th ed., 1896 ;
  • Y Cerddor , March 1914 .

Author:

Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 1959