Dictionary of Welsh Biography


A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



DAVIES , Sir HENRY WALFORD ( 1869 - 1941 ), musician ;

b. Oswestry , Salop , 6 September, 1869 , son of John Whitridge Davies and Susan (née Gregory ) his wife. At the age of 12 he entered the choir of St. George's Chapel , Windsor , and became pupil-assistant to Sir Walter Parratt , 1885-90 . In 1890 he won a composition scholarship at the Royal College of Music , and during these student days became organist of St. Anne's church , Soho , and later, Christ Church , Hampstead . In 1895 he was appointed Professor of Counterpoint at the Royal College but resigned in 1903 . In 1898 he was appointed organist and director of the choir at the Temple Church , London , a post which he held with distinction for 20 years. Other important posts held by him were conductor of the Bach Choir ; music director to the R.A.F. ; organist of St. George's Chapel , Windsor , and Professor of Music at Gresham College , London . In 1919 he accepted the dual posts of Director of Music to the University of Wales , and Professor of Music at Aberystwyth university college , the latter post he relinquished in 1926 . He was knighted in 1922 , and on the death of Edward Elgar in 1934 , King George V appointed him Master of the King's Musick . He was made a C.V.O. in 1932 and K.C.V.O. in 1937 . His academic distinctions were D.Mus. (Cantab.) , D.Mus. (Oxford and Dublin) hon. , LL.D. (Leeds) hon. , F.R.A.M. , F.R.C.O. , F.R.C.M. He was a prolific composer and many of his longer works were performed at the Three Choirs Festivals . He was known all over the world by his broadcast talks and gramophone records. In 1924 he m. Constance Margaret , d. of William Evans , rector of Narberth , and Canon of St. David's . He d. at Wrington , Bristol , 11 Mar. 1941 .

Sources:

  • Personal knowledge;
  • The Times , 12 Mar. 1941 ;
  • H. C. Colles , Walford Davies a biography , London, 1942 ;
  • Who was who? , 1941-50 .

Author:

John Charles McLean, F.R.C.O. (1875-1952), Cardiff

Published date: 2001