Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , BENJAMIN MORRIS ( 1832 - 1903 ), musician ;

b. 28 Dec. 1832 at Pen-y-braich , near the Cae Braich y Cafn quarry , Bethesda, Caerns. He started to work in the quarry when he was only eight, received a year's schooling when he was twelve, and then resumed work in the quarry . In 1853 he began to learn the work of printing music in the printing office of Robert Jones , Bethesda ; it was he who set up the music of ‘ Storm Tiberias ’ ( Tanymarian ) and the ‘ Requiem ’ (by the same composer) for John Jones , Tal-y-sarn . He moved to Ruthin to the printing office of Isaac Clarke ; there he set up Gems of Welsh Melody ( Owain Alaw ). From Ruthin he went to London to set up music in sol-fa for the firm of John Curwen and Sons , he worked also for Thomas Gee at Denbigh , for Isaac Jones at Treherbert , and in the office of Y Genedl Gymreig ( Caernarvon ). He took the prize at a Ruthin national eisteddfod for an arrangement of some Welsh airs for a band. He edited and arranged the hymn-tunes in Caniadau y Cysegr a'r Teulu , published by Gee at Denbigh ; this has some hymn-tunes and psalm-tunes composed by the editor , see also Llyfr y Psalmau ( Alawydd ). He had choirs at both Ruthin and Denbigh , and used to serve as conductor of hymnody-festivals . He d. at Caernarvon , and was buried 24 Jan. 1903 .

Sources:

  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig , National Eisteddfod Association publication, 1890 ;
  • Y Cerddor , March and Aug. 1903 .

Author:

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

Published date: 1959