Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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BARRETT , WILLIAM LEWIS ( 1847 - 1927 ), flautist .

Born in London , the son of Thomas Barrett and a Welsh mother ( Mary Lewis ) from Dinas Mawddwy , at which place the family was brought up. The father was a skilled violin player . William Barrett was given violin lessons when he was quite young; he also learned to play the flute . He was apprenticed to a merchant in Old Change , S. Paul's , London .

He received further instruction on the flute from Rockstro and was appointed ( 1868 ) flautist to the Italian Opera , Lutz . For twelve years he played under the conductorship of Sir Michael Costa in the performances of the Sacred Harmonic Society . He was with the Carl Rosa Company for seven years and took part in performances by the Philharmonic Society and the ‘ Bach Choir .’ He was chief flautist at the musical festivals of ‘The Three Choirs’ in Birmingham and Leeds and in concerts given by Herschell and Richter ; and played before queen Victoria at Balmoral and at Windsor . He accompanied Madame Albani on a musical tour of Canada and the United States of America . In 1883 he became teacher of the flute in the Royal College of Music , a post which he held until 1910 . He was considered the foremost flute player in the country. He d. 10 Jan. 1927 at the Savage Club , London , and was buried at Kensal Rise .


  • F. Griffith , Notable Welsh Musicians (1896) ;
  • Y Cerddor , Dec. 1899 .


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

Published date: 1959