Ian Parrott took a lively interest in the musical traditions of his adoptive country; he learnt Welsh and insisted that he should be regarded as a Welsh composer. He was one of the founders of the Guild for the Promotion of Welsh Music in 1959. He revived the Gregynog Festival and conducted there for ten years. He made extensive use of Welsh folk-tunes in his opera The Black Ram (1957), based on a tale from Ffynnon Bedr, near Lampeter, and his setting of the communion service, A Welsh Folk Mass, also makes use of traditional music. His numerous orchestral compositions include the overture Seithenyn (1959), commissioned by the BBC, and Arfordir Ceredigion, another commission, performed at the National Eisteddfod in Aberystwyth in 1992. He produced five symphonies and five string quartets, and a large number of choral and instrumental pieces. He received a number of prizes and honours, including the Harriet Cohen Musicology Medal in 1966.
He also wrote works on music appreciation for young people: Pathways to Modern Music (1947) and A Guide to Musical Thought (1949); a volume, The Spiritual Pilgrims, on musical life at Gregynog in the days of Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, and studies of the composers Edward Elgar, Peter Warlock and Cyril Scott. An autobiography, Parrottcisms, was published in 2003.
He married in 1940 Elizabeth Cox (died 1994), and they had two sons. He married again in 1996 Jeanne Peckham, who died in 2010. He died on 4 September 2012 and his funeral was held at Llanbadarn Fawr church on 12 September. His remains were interred in the cemetery at Llanbadarn church.
Dr Rhidian Griffiths, Aberystwyth
Published date: 2014