Gwynn Williams, W. S. (William Sidney), 1896-1978

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Gwynn Williams, W. S. (William Sidney), 1896-1978

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W. S. Gwynn Williams (1896-1978), musician, composer, author, editor and administrator, established the Gwynn Publishing Company and was one of the founders of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

He was born, 4 April 1896, at Plas Hafod, Llangollen, the son of the musician W. Pencerdd Williams. He composed numerous songs, including the popular 'Tosturi Duw' ('God's Mercy') and 'My Little Welsh Home'. From 1922 to 1929 he edited Y Cerddor Newydd, and was also responsible for the short lived musical review, Y Delyn: the Welsh Music Review, of which three issues only appeared, in 1947.

His devotion to the field of Welsh folk music is one of his main contributions. He was secretary of the Welsh Folk-Song Society, 1933-1957, becoming chairman in 1957. He also edited the Society's Journal for thirty years. He published many collections of folk-songs and tunes, including Old Welsh Folk-songs (1927), and Caneuon Traddodiadol y Cymry in two volumes (1961, 1963). He published a pioneering study of traditional Welsh music entitled Welsh National Music and Dance, of which four editions appeared between 1932 and 1971.

He established the Gwynn Publishing Company which, over the years, produced a wide range of both Welsh and European music. He also played a prominent part in the inception of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in 1947, becoming its first musical director. He was a prominent member of the Eisteddfod Gorsedd, and was musical organiser of the Gorsedd of Bards. He died in 1978.


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