Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , DAVID JOHN TAWE ( 1885 - 1949 ), musician ;

b. in Rhyd-y-fro , Pontardawe, Glam. Educated at Swansea Grammar School and Cardiff University College , he was organist at Welsh Presbyterian churches in Llanrwst , Cardiff , Carmarthen and Holloway Road ( London ). He adjudicated and conducted extensively throughout Wales and in England and was Professor of Singing at the Guildhall School of Music during the latter part of his life. His compositions include many choral works and songs (for which he won many prizes at the national eisteddfod ), together with some instrumental compositions. He held strong views concerning the lack of enterprize of Welsh choirs and the absence of any signs of progress in Welsh choral singing, and longed to hear a Welsh choir of the calibre of the Huddersfield Choir . The complete list of his compositions is too extensive to be included in this article.

He suffered a great deal from the effects of World War I when he was gassed and received a shrapnel wound in his head . Shortly before his death he completed a five-act opera, The Enchantress , based on the biblical theme of ‘ Jezebel ’ — the libretto by J. Dyfnallt Owen (see below) and an English translation by Wil Ifan ’ ( William Evans , see above ). The opera is scored for full orchestra. He d. at his home in Golders Green , London , 3 May 1949 , aged 64, and was buried in Rhyd-y-fro . He was survived by his widow, Elizabeth .

Sources:

  • Personal knowledge;
  • [ Y Ddinas, Cylchgrawn Cymry Llundain , June 1949 ;
  • Y Darian , 8 Sept. 1932 ;
  • Y Cymro , 6 Aug. 1948 ].

Author:

John Hughes, Mus.Bac., (1896-1968), Dolgellau

Published date: 2001