Parry, Joseph



Well-known composer; born in a poor family at Merthyr Tydvil, Wales. His musical taste came from his mother and developed from hearing the songs and band-music of his native land. When only ten years old he had to go to work in the puddling furnaces. In 1854 the family came to America, but not long afterward Joseph returned to his old home, where he was taught by local musicians, and won several prizes for his songs at the Eisteddfod. At last, through the efforts of Mr. Brinley Richards, a fund was raised to enable Parry to study at the Royal Academy of Music, of which he became a fellow. Beginning in 1868, Bennett, Garcia and Steggall gave him instruction, and under them he made great progress, winning a bronze medal in 1870 and a silver one in 1871. The next year he became professor of music at the University College of Aberystwith, and here he remained until 1878, the year in which he received the -degree of Doctor of Music from Cambridge. From 1879 to 1886 he was principal of the Music College of Wales at Swansea, and in 1888 he was made musical lecturer of the University College of South Wales, at Cardiff. He edited six volumes of Cambrian Minstrelsy  and among his compositions are about four hundred songs; glees; anthems; and piano-music; overtures; an orchestral ballad; and a string quartet; besides the larger works, The Prodigal Son, Nebuchadnezzar, and Cambria; the cantatas, Emanuel, and Saul of Tarsus; oratorios; and the operas, Blodwen, Virginia, Arianwen, Sylvia, and King Arthur.