E T Davies 1878-1969
Cyfansoddwr a chanddo gysylltiadau cerddorol da oedd Evan Thomas Davies: ar ochr ei fam roedd yn ddisgynnydd i’r cyfansoddwr caneuon/cyfansoddwr R. S. Hughes a bu ganddo gysylltiad agos â Harry Evans, ei diwtor, drwy gydol ei oes. A dweud y gwir, ymgartrefodd yn y pen draw ym Merthyr Tudful, yn agos iawn i’r tŷ lle’r oedd ei gyn-fentor wedi byw. (Mae trefniant enwog Harry Evans o Ar Hyd y Nos ar gyfer SATB a TTBB hefyd newydd ei ailgyhoeddi gan Tŷ Cerdd).
Yn ogystal â’i waith fel cyfansoddwr, roedd galw mawr am ei ddoniau fel organydd, a lansiodd dros gant o organau newydd ar draws y DU. Ef hefyd oedd y cyfarwyddwr cerdd llawn-amser cyntaf yn yr hyn sydd bellach yn Brifysgol Bangor.
Cân a wobrwywyd yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Frenhinol Cymru, Llundain ym 1909 oedd un o’i ddarnau, Ynys y Plant – dyma oedd un o ffefrynnau’r soprano, Amy Evans ac fe’i clywir ar lwyfan yr Eisteddfod hyd heddiw. Hefyd bu’n cydolygu Caneuon Cenedlaethol Cymru [The National Songs of Wales] â Sydney Northcote – cyfansoddwr, beirniad ac organydd arall uchel ei barch – ar gyfer Boosey & Hawkes ym 1959.
Evan Thomas Davies was a composer who was musically well-connected in Wales: he was a descendant of the song-writer/composer R. S. Hughes on his mother’s side; and he had a close association with Harry Evans, his tutor, throughout his life. In fact, he eventually settled down in Merthyr Tydfil very near the house where his former mentor had lived. (Harry Evans’s famous arrangements of Ar Hyd y Nos for SATB and TTBB have also just been re-published by Tŷ Cerdd).
As well as his work as a composer, he was also an in-demand organist, inaugurating over a hundred new organs across the UK and became the first full-time director of music at what is now Bangor University.
One of his pieces, Ynys y Plant was the Prize Song of the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales, London in 1909 – this was a favourite of the soprano, Amy Evans, and is heard regularly on the Eisteddfod stage to this day. He also co-edited The National Songs of Waleswith Sydney Northcote – another respected composer, adjudicator and organist – for Boosey & Hawkes in 1959.