Born 14 July 1855 at Aberystwyth, son of Benjamin and Ann Samuel Hughes, who kept an ironmonger's shop near the town clock. He showed musical talent and could play the piano when he was only 5 years of age. When he was 10 years old he took the prize for piano-playing at the Aberystwyth eisteddfod of 1865, the adjudicators - Brinley Richards, Owain Alaw, and John Roberts (Ieuan Gwyllt), giving him high praise. He spent about eighteen months at the Royal Academy of Music, London, returned to Aberystwyth for a while, and then went to Bangor to assist Roland Rogers, the cathedral organist. Returning to Aberystwyth he published his first solo - ' Wyt ti'n cofio lloer yn codi? ' and, shortly afterwards ' Y Golomen Wen.' He returned to London and remained there until he was appointed organist of the Congregational church at Bethesda, Caernarfonshire; he also established himself there as a teacher of music. He was undoubtedly the foremost composer of solos and duets in Wales during the second half of the 19th century. Among his most popular solos were ' The Inchcape Bell,' ' Y Tair Mordaith,' ' Y Dymestl,' ' Llam y Cariadau,' ' Arafa Don '; his duets, e.g. ' Gwys i'r Gad ' and ' Lle treigla'r Caveri,' etc., also attained wide popularity. He wrote anthems and hymn-tunes, a cantata (' Bugeiliaid Bethlehem '), a string quartette (successful at the Wrexham eisteddfod of 1876), and a part-song for male voices (1888). He was a successful eisteddfod competitor (particularly for his solos and duets) and was also much in demand as piano accompanist. He died 3 March 1893 and was buried in Glanogwen burial ground, Bethesda.
Published date: 1959
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC-RUU/1.0/
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.
Find out more on our sponsorship page.