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Born: 1 November 1934
Died: 29 July 1992
Mathias was born in Whitland, Carmarthenshire. A child prodigy, he started playing the piano aged three, and composing aged five. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Lennox Berkeley, where he was elected a Fellow in 1965. In 1968, he received the Bax Society Prize of the Harriet Cohen International Music Award. He was professor of music and head of department at the University of Wales, Bangor from 1970 until 1988.
His compositions include large scale works including an opera The Servants (1980), three symphonies and three piano concertos. Much of his music was written for the Anglican choral tradition, most famously the anthem Let the people praise Thee, O God written for the July 1981 royal wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, which had a television audience of an estimated 1 billion people worldwide.
Mathias wrote his Sinfonietta – initially called Dance Suite – for the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra in late 1966 and it received its first performance at Leicester De Montfort Hall during the 1967 Schools Festival. It was also included in the orchestra's tour programme for Denmark and Germany later in the year. The LSSO made the first commercial recording of Sinfonietta for the Pye Golden Guinea label in July 1967 under the direction of the composer.
He founded the North Wales International Music Festival in St Asaph in 1972 and directed it until his death in 1992.
He is buried outside St Asaph Cathedral.
(taken from Wikipedia, please edit the original article, link below)
View the Wikipedia article on William Mathias.
List of choral works
- Festival Te Deum in C Major
- Bell Carol
- Sweet was the Song
- A Babe is Born Op. 55 (1971) 3:30 duration
- Ave Rex Op. 45
- Ceremony after a Fire Raid
- A May Magnificat
- Lux Aeterna
- A Royal Garland
- Shakespeare Songs
- This Worlde's Joie
- Three Medieval Lyrics
- Sir Christemas
- Let the People Praise Thee, O God
- Lift up your heads, o ye gates
Click here to search for this composer on CPDL
- William Mathias at Oxford University Press
- William Mathias, biography & appraisal of his music by David C.F. Wright on MusicWeb International
- Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra website