Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , WILLIAM AUBREY ( Gwilym Gwent ; 1834 - 1891 ), musician ;

b. [ 28 Nov. 1834 according to Blackwell ] at Tredegar, Mon. ; when he was 10 years of age he sang alto in a choir conducted by his uncle in Rhymney . A blacksmith by trade, he moved when quite young to Blaenau Gwent (‘ Blaina ’), where he became conductor of the local band . He married in 1862 . He won the prize at the Aberystwyth eisteddfod of 1865 for a duet for female voices, together with a ten pounds prize for a cantata, ‘ Y Mab Afradlon .’ He was probably the most popular and possibly one of the most prolific composers in Wales in his time, producing part-songs, anthems, solos, etc. His part-songs called ‘ Yr Haf ,’ ‘ Cymru Gynt ,’ ‘ Y Gwanwyn ,’ ‘ Y Clychau ,’ ‘ Yr Afonig ,’ and ‘ Gwenau y Gwanwyn ’ were very popular during the second half of the 19th cent . His cantata, ‘ Plant y Tloty ,’ which had won the prize at an eisteddfod held at Carmel , Treorchy , was published. With David Lewis , Llanrhystud ( 1828 - 1908 , q.v.) , he edited Llwybrau Moliant , a collection of hymn-tunes for use by Welsh Baptists ; this work contains several hymn-tunes of his own composition. In 1872 he emigrated to Plymouth , Pennsylvania , where he d.; he was buried 5 July 1891 .

Sources:

  • Y Cerddor , Aug. and Sept. 1891 and May 1892 .

Author:

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

Published date: 1959