Parry, Joseph, 1841-1903

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Parry, Joseph, 1841-1903

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Joseph Parry (1841-1903), musician and composer, was born in Merthyr Tydfil within a musical and choral environment. In 1854 the family moved to Pennsylvania, where Parry worked in iron rolling-mills while studying music in his spare time. His successes in composition competitions at the National Eisteddfod of Wales during 1863-1864 led to the establishment of a fund which enabled Parry to study at the Royal Academy of Music from 1868 to 1871. Having gained his degree, Parry returned to the United States, where he established a private music school before, in 1874, being appointed professor and head of the new department of music at University College, Aberystwyth, a post he held for the following six years. In 1878 he gained a Mus. Doc. (Cantab.) degree. From 1881 to 1888 Parry served as organist of Ebenezer Chapel, Swansea, and as head of a musical college which he founded, and from 1888 until his death in 1903 he was lecturer in music at University College, Cardiff. Parry was a prolific composer of songs, choruses, anthems, hymns, and some instrumental works. He wrote several operas, of which 'Blodwen' (1880) enjoyed some five hundred performances by 1896. Among Parry's other major works are the oratorios 'Emmanuel' (1880) and 'Saul' (1892), and the cantata 'Nebuchadnezzar' (1884). His hymn-tune 'Aberystwyth' has become a classic.

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n 82207803

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