Arwel Hughes 1909-88

Arwel Hughes was born in Rhosllanerchrugog and attended Ruabon Grammar School before going on to study with Vaughan Williams and C. H. Kitson at the Royal College of Music, London. After graduating he became organist at the church of St Philip and St James, Oxford and in 1935 returned to Wales to join the staff of the music department at the BBC. He became Head of Music of BBC Wales in 1965, a post he held with great esteem until his retirement in 1971. From 1978 until 1986 Hughes was Honorary Music Director of Llangollen International Eisteddfod and in 1969 was awarded the OBE for services to Welsh music.

Arwel Hughes is most renowned for his works for choir and orchestra, including Dewi Sant and Pantycelyn. His orchestral music includes a symphony, Suite for Orchestra, Prelude for Orchestra and the widely performed Fantasia for Strings. Hughes conducted performances by the Welsh National Opera, and his own two operas, Menna and Serch yw'r Doctor were produced by the company in 1954 and 1960. His output also includes a large quantity of chamber pieces and songs.

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