William Mathias History

William Mathias The renowned composer William Mathias was born in Hendy-gwyn ar Daf (Whitland), Carmarthenshire in 1934. He showed exceptional musical talent from a very young age – he started playing the piano at the age of 3, and began composing when he was 5 years old. He studied music at Aberystwyth University, and went on to win an open scholarship to study composition at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Recognised as being among the finest musicians of his generation, he became one of the first Welsh composers to achieve international acclaim. His compositions are performed all over the world, and include symphonies, concertos, cantatas, choral works, pieces for young people, and an opera. In addition to composition, he played a crucial role in promoting music in Wales by championing high, professional
standards and by putting into place many of the structures which now enable young Welsh performers and composers to develop.

North Wales became his permanent base from 1970, and most of his music was composed at his home in Porthaethwy (Menai Bridge). He was Professor and Head of Department at the School of Music of the University of Wales, Bangor, from 1970 until 1988.


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