Mathias, William

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Mathias, William

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1934-1992

History

William Mathias, musician and composer, was born in Whitland, Carmarthenshire, on 1 November 1934. He studied Music under Professor Ian Parrott at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1952-1956. In 1956 he won an open scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied composition with Lennox Berkeley and piano with Peter Katin. He was appointed Lecturer in the Music Department of the University College of North Wales, Bangor, in 1959, and remained there until 1968 when he left to take an appointment as Senior Lecturer in Music at Edinburgh University. In 1970 he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Music at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and remained in that position until 1988 when he retired to concentrate on composition. He died at Y Graigwen, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, 29 July 1992. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1965. In 1966 he became a Doctor of Music of the University of Wales, and in 1990 was elected a Fellow of the University. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Westminster Choir College, Princeton, in 1987. In 1968 he was awarded the Arnold Bax Society Prize, and in 1982 the Guild for the Promotion of Welsh Music's John Edwards Memorial Award. He founded the North Wales Music Festival, based at St Asaph Cathedral, in 1972, and directed it until his death. He also helped to establish the Fishguard Festival in 1970. From 1961 he was a house composer with Oxford University Press. He was a member of: the Welsh Arts Council, 1974-1981, and chairman of the Music Committee, 1982-8; the Music Advisory Committee of the British Council, 1974-1983; the Incorporated Society of Musicians, 1976-1980, and president, 1979-1980; the BBC Central Music Advisory Committee, 1979-1986; the Welsh Advisory Committee of the British Council, 1979-1990; the Council of the Composers' Guild of Great Britain, from 1982. He was vice-president of the Royal College of Organists, 1985-1986, and chairman of the International Incorporated Society of Musicians in 1990. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in the 1985 New Year's Honours.

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n 81139106

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