Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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HUGHES , RICHARD SAMUEL ( 1855 - 1893 ), musician ;

b. 14 July 1855 at Aberystwyth , son of Benjamin and Ann Samuel Hughes , who kept an ironmonger's shop near the town clock. He showed musical talent and could play the piano when he was only 5 years of age. When he was 10 years old he took the prize for piano-playing at the Aberystwyth eisteddfod of 1865 , the adjudicators — Brinley Richards , Owain Alaw , and John Roberts ( Ieuan Gwyllt ) , giving him high praise. He spent about eighteen months at the Royal Academy of Music , London , returned to Aberystwyth for a while, and then went to Bangor to assist Roland Rogers , the cathedral organist . Returning to Aberystwyth he published his first solo — ‘ Wyt ti'n cofio lloer yn codi? ’ and, shortly afterwards ‘ Y Golomen Wen .’ He returned to London and remained there until he was appointed organist of the Congregational church at Bethesda, Caerns. ; he also established himself there as a teacher of music . He was undoubtedly the foremost composer of solos and duets in Wales during the second half of the 19th cent. Among his most popular solos were ‘ The Inchcape Bell ,’ ‘ Y Tair Mordaith ,’ ‘ Y Dymestl ,’ ‘ Llam y Cariadau ,’ ‘ Arafa Don ’; his duets, e.g. ‘ Gwŷs i'r Gad ’ and ‘ Lle treigla'r Caveri ,’ etc., also attained wide popularity. He wrote anthems and hymn-tunes , a cantata (‘ Bugeiliaid Bethlehem ’), a string quartette (successful at the Wrexham eisteddfod of 1876 ), and a part-song for male voices ( 1888 ). He was a successful eisteddfod competitor (particularly for his solos and duets) and was also much in demand as piano accompanist . He d. 3 March 1893 and was buried in Glanogwen burial ground , Bethesda .

Sources:

  • Y Cerddor , April 1893 , April and June 1897 ;
  • Y Geninen , 1893 , 129; 1894 , 63;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , iv, 237.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959