1843–1913

Introduction

portrait

Born: Sep­tem­ber 21, 1843, Pen­rall­twen, near Cas­tell­newydd Em­lyn (New­cas­tle Em­lyn), Car­mar­then­shire, Wales.

Died: Jan­ua­ry 19, 1913, Cem­maes, Mon­tgo­me­ry­shire.

Buried: Llandyfriog (near New­cas­tle Em­lyn), Wales.

Biography

Evans was a com­pos­er, ad­ju­di­cat­or, con­duct­or, ed­it­or, cri­tic, mu­sic his­to­ri­an and en­tre­pre­neur.

Frequently iras­ci­ble, es­pe­cial­ly in his last years which he spent in se­vere and im­mo­bi­liz­ing pain, he was one of the fore­most fig­ures in Welsh mu­sic­al life in the pe­ri­od lead­ing up to World War I.

He was self taught, via the most po­pu­lar of all Welsh mu­sic pub­li­ca­tions, John Mills’ Gram­adeg Cerdd­ori­aeth, and the two parts of Tho­mas Wil­liams’ Cein­ion Cer­ddo­ri­aeth (Mu­sic­al Gems, 1852) with its 200 hymn tunes and sev­en­ty an­thems and cho­rus­es.

Later, for­mal les­sons by a mu­sic teach­er, Mr. Hughes of Llechryd, a few miles from his home, gave him a firm­er ground­ing in the old no­ta­tion used un­til 1858.

The same year, in Bridg­end, he sang his first song in pub­lic, con­duct­ed his first choir and won his first prize for com­po­si­tion.

In 1863 he moved to Chel­ten­ham, where he worked as a shop as­sist­ant and re­ceived fur­ther les­sons in pi­ano and or­gan.

He be­came a com­mer­cial tra­vel­er in 1871, and tra­veled in this ca­pa­ci­ty for the next 20 years the length and breadth of Wales, mak­ing con­tacts and obs­erv­ing the growth of mu­sic through­out Wales.

It was prob­ab­ly dur­ing his over­night stays in ho­tels that most of his mu­sic­al com­po­si­tions were cre­at­ed at the end of his work­ing day.

Throughout this pe­ri­od, 66 of his piec­es won priz­es in com­pe­ti­tions in Wales, Eng­land and Am­er­ica.

Works

Music