Born Oswestry, Salop, 6 September, 1869, son of John Whitridge Davies and Susan (née Gregory) his wife. At the age of 12 he entered the choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and became pupil-assistant to Sir Walter Parratt, 1885-90. In 1890 he won a composition scholarship at the Royal College of Music, and during these student days became organist of St. Anne's church, Soho, and later, Christ Church, Hampstead. In 1895 he was appointed Professor of Counterpoint at the Royal College but resigned in 1903. In 1898 he was appointed organist and director of the choir at the Temple Church, London, a post which he held with distinction for 20 years. Other important posts held by him were conductor of the Bach Choir; music director to the R.A.F.; organist of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and Professor of Music at Gresham College, London. In 1919 he accepted the dual posts of Director of Music to the University of Wales, and Professor of Music at Aberystwyth university college, the latter post he relinquished in 1926. He was knighted in 1922, and on the death of Edward Elgar in 1934, King George V appointed him Master of the King's Musick. He was made a C.V.O. in 1932 and K.C.V.O. in 1937. His academic distinctions were D.Mus. (Cantab.), D.Mus. (Oxford and Dublin) hon., LL.D. (Leeds) hon., F.R.A.M., F.R.C.O., F.R.C.M. He was a prolific composer and many of his longer works were performed at the Three Choirs Festivals. He was known all over the world by his broadcast talks and gramophone records. In 1924 he married Constance Margaret, daughter of William Evans, rector of Narberth, and Canon of St. David's. He died at Wrington, Bristol, 11 March 1941.
Published date: 2001
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