Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , DAVID CHRISTMAS ( 1871 - 1926 ), musician ;

b. 12 Sept. 1871 at Llanwrtyd , Brecknock , the son of Gruffydd Christmas and Elizabeth ( Evans ) . By the time he was 14 he had composed several pieces of music. When he was 17 he went to Cardiff to take courses in music under Dr. Joseph Parry , to whom (in 1890 ) he became an assistant ; he was also made organist and choirmaster at a chapel in Penarth . He soon came into prominence as a composer . A part-song, ‘ O, agor fy llygaid ,’ was adjudged the best entry at one eisteddfod, out of twenty-seven that had been submitted for competition; a cantata ‘ Traeth Llafar ,’ was awarded the prize at the Rhyl national eisteddfod , 1892 ; pieces composed by him were performed at the national eisteddfodau held at Newport, Mon. , and Llandudno ( 1895 ); whilst his ‘ Destruction of Pompeii ,’ ‘ Homeward bound ,’ and ‘ Charge of the Light Brigade ’ were set as pieces for competition in various national eisteddfodau. He also wrote several anthems and hymn-tunes . In 1895 he settled as a music teacher at Merthyr Tydfil , where (in 1898 ) he became organist of Hope chapel . In 1905 he formed a north Glamorgan orchestral society which did excellent work by making orchestral works by some of the masters known. He graduated Mus.Bac. (Cantab.) in 1912 ; he later became Mus.Doc. (Dublin) . In 1913 he became honorary conductor of the Merthyr choral society . He d. 21 March 1926 . and was buried in Llanwrtyd churchyard.


  • Y Cerddor , April 1901 and Sept. 1912 ;
  • ( The Merthyr Express , 27 March 1926 .)


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

Published date: 1959