Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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OWEN , MORFYDD LLWYN ( 1891 - 1918 ), composer, singer, and pianist .

Born 1 Oct. 1891 at Treforest, Glam. , daughter of William and Sarah Jane Owen . Her parents were very musical , her mother being a singer and pianist of more than average ability. She was educated at Pontypridd county school ; University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire (holder of the Caradog Music Scholarship , 1909-12 , Mus. Bac. 1912 ). She had a distinguished career at the Royal Academy of Music , 1912-7 (holder of Goring Thomas scholarship for composition , 1913-7 , and awarded many of the academy's principal prizes and medals).

She married in Feb. 1917 the psychiatrist Alfred Ernest Jones . Her early death on 7 Sept. 1918 , at the age of 26, was a serious loss to Welsh music. Morfydd Owen was a versatile and sensitive musician and an unusually gifted composer . Her compositions, which include orchestral and choral works, chamber music, piano solos, songs and folk-song arrangements, have striking originality, impeccable technique, and a distinctive quality of their own. Much of her music has sprung from a deep personal and national consciousness stimulated by the literature and folk-songs of her people. Three of her songs — ‘ To our Lady of Sorrows ,’ ‘ Slumber Song of the Madonna ,’ ‘ Gweddi Pechadur ,’ and the hymn tune ‘ William ,’ have found great favour in Wales , are outstanding examples of her genius.



Evan Thomas Davies, (1878-1969), Aberdare / Bangor

Published date: 1959