William Mathias (1934 -1992)

William Mathias is acknowledged as one of Wales’ finest composers. He was born in Whitland, West Wales, and read music at the University College Aberystwyth before winning a scholarship to study composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music. From 1970 to 1988 he was Professor of Music at the University of Wales Bangor and was elected as a F.R.A.M. in 1965, awarded the Bax Society Prize in 1968, and an Honorary D.Mus by Westminster Choir College, Princeton in the USA, where his music is widely performed. He received the CBE in 1985. In public life he held many prominent positions, which included the Governor of the BBC, Chairman of the Arts Council of Wales and President of the ISM. He founded the North Wales Music Festival at St Asaph in 1972 being its Musical Director until his untimely death in 1992. His music is well-known for its colourful and rhythmic style, which gained him national and international recognition from audiences and critics alike. St Teilo is a brilliant and highly effective choral cantata or masque, and his TTBB version of Gweddi’r Arglwydd (The Lord’s Prayer) was the last but one composition he wrote before his death.

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