Mervyn Burtch

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Mervyn Burtch

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  • Burtch, Mervyn

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Mervyn Burtch (1929-2015) was born in Ystrad Mynach, in the Rhymney Valley in the County Borough of Caerphilly, formerly the county of Glamorgan, Wales. His works encompassed a wide rage of genres including operas, concertos, string quartets, works for brass bands, choral work, together with compositions for community groups. During a period spanning some sixty years he produced and arranged some 650 works, a significant proportion of which were written for amateur performers and children.

Mervyn Burtch attended the Lewis Grammar School at Pengam where he was taught music by David Wynne (1900-1983), one of Wales's most significant composers. He studied at the University College Cardiff, and in due course he would take over the position of Head of Music at Lewis School for Girls. In 1979 he joining the staff at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff (now known as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama). He was made a Fellow of the College following his retirement in 1989, and awarded the M.B.E in 2003.
As Director of the Welsh College of Music and Drama Schools’ Opera Programme, he produced such works as The Pied Piper, Alice in Wonderland (1997), The Dragon of Abercwmgoch (1984), Percy the Martian(1988) and the Coca Cola Well (1992).
Some of his most significant works were his Concertos and the cycle of seventeen string quartets which he composed during the period 1985 and 2013.
He married his wife Rita Jones when he was 74.
Following a long illness, on 12 May 2015, Mervyn Burtch died aged of 85. His Funeral service and committal was held at Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff on May 27. The Mervyn Burtch Trust was created with the sole purpose of Educating and promotion of the appreciation of the public in the music of Mervyn Burtch and the education of the public in the life of Mervyn Burtch.
His manuscript scores were transferred to the Welsh Music Archive at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2019. Many of the instrumental parts scores (manuscript and copies) are held at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff.


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