Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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THOMAS , DAVID FFRANGCON ( 1910 - 1963 ), cellist ;

b. 19 Sept. 1910 at Plas-marl , Swansea , son of W. Roger Thomas and his wife. He was named Ffrangcon after the singer David Thomas Ffrangcon Davies ( DWB , 119) , one of his father's heroes. When he was eleven years old he began to learn to play the cello under Gwilym Thomas , Port Talbot , and within two years won a scholarship to the Cello School of Herbert Walenn in London . He won prizes at the national eisteddfod at Pontypool ( 1924 ) and Swansea ( 1926 ). After further study at the Royal Music Academy , where he won bronze and silver medals as well as the Ada Lewis Scholarship , he became a member of a number of orchestras , including the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra . He also performed in the Wigmore Hall and in the Royal Opera House , Covent Garden . During World War II he served in the army and then he studied at Prague with Pravoslav Sadlo and Rafael Kubelik . He had an active career as a soloist in Britain and he travelled to Australia and the Far East . He formed a duet with the harpist Osian Ellis , broadcasting and recording for the Delysé company . He endeavoured to form a Welsh orchestra , and succeeded in holding concerts in 1954-55 . He m. Dorothy C. Mallinson in 1941 and they had a daughter, Rosalind . He d. 10 Dec. 1963 in London and his ashes were interred in Nicholaston church in Gower .


  • The Biographical Index of W. W. Price, Aberdâr (at the National Library of Wales and Aberdare Public Library) ;
  • Western Mail , 11 Dec. 1963 ;
  • [ Y Ddinas, Cylchgrawn Cymry Llundain (London), 1, no. 5, Feb. 1947 , 8].


Dr Rhidian Griffiths, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001