Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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EVANS , DAVID ( 1874 - 1948 ), musician ; b. 6 Feb. 1874 in Resolven, Glam. , s. of Morgan and Sarah Evans . He was educated at Arnold College , Swansea , and at University College , Cardiff , where he succeeded Dr. Joseph Parry , in 1903 , as head of the department of Music , becoming professor in 1908 . He gained early prominence in Wales as a composer , with the following works: Llawenhewch yn yr Iôr , a short oratorio, performed at the Caernarfon Festival , 1906 ; The Coming of Arthur , a dramatic cantata, performed at the Cardiff Triennial Festival , 1907 , and the choral ballad ‘ Deffro! Mae'n Ddydd ’ and ‘ Carmen ’ (setting of a Latin ode), both of which were sung at the opening ceremony of the new University buildings, Cardiff , 1909 . His unpublished incidental music to ‘ Alcestis ’ was written for a performance of the Greek play at Cardiff in 1928 , and the short cantata ‘ Gloria ’ for the bicentenary celebration of Methodism in Wales . He made a deep, and lasting, impression on Welsh music. His outstanding success as a University teacher was matched by his loyalty to the traditional Welsh musical institutions, the Cymanfa Ganu and the Eisteddfod . He strove untiringly to raise musical standards throughout the country, and his Moliant Cenedl , a scholarly collection of the best hymn tunes, was a beneficial influence at the time. His editorship of Y Cerddor ( 1916-21 ) also revealed his thorough understanding of the musical scene in Wales . He actively encouraged orchestral music and he also proposed many reforms with regard to music at the Eisteddfod . His expertise in the field of religious music was widely recognised, and a number of his hymn tunes are to be found in the best English hymnals. He was chairman of the committee of experts responsible for the editorship of the Revised Church Hymnary and editor of The Children's Hymnbook ( Blackie ); and he was also largely responsible for the editing of the Welsh Methodist and Wesleyan Llyfr Emynau a Thonau . Some of his smaller compositions appeared under the pseudonym ‘Edward Arthur’ .

He m., 1899 , Mary Thomas , Plas-y-coed , Morriston , and they had two sons. He d. 17 May, 1948 .

Bibliography:

  • Personal knowledge;
  • Who was who? , 1941-50 .

Author:

Professor David Ewart Parry Williams, D.Mus., (1900-96), Bangor