Parry's Musical Great Grand-Daughter to Join Centenary Events

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 17, 2003 | Go to article overview

Parry's Musical Great Grand-Daughter to Join Centenary Events


Byline: TONY TRAINOR

THE great-granddaughter of Dr Joseph Parry returns to Wales today to mark the centenary of the great composer's death. Elisabeth Parry, one of only two surviving descendants of the Merthyr Tydfil-born musician, is living proof of the ``Great Doctor's'' musical genius.

Miss Parry, a professional opera singer until her retirement from the stage, is still producing operas at the age of 81.

She is taking a break from her company's latest production of Mozart's Don Giovanni to travel from her home county of Surrey for today's centenary in South Wa es She makes her first visit to Penarth to visit the grave of her great-grandfather at St Augustine's Church, where a programme of Joseph Parry compositions will be heard, including his love song Myfanwy and the hymn Aberystwyth.

Artistes will include soprano Iona Jones, pianist Bryan Davies, organist Robert Court, the Celticana string quartet and the Pendyrus Male Choir.

Professor-Emeritus Ian Parrott, one of Parry's successors as Professor of Music at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and biographer Dr Dulais Rhys, will also speak of Parry's musical

egacy.

An energetic Miss Parry said she was looking forward to driving to Wales, having already visited her great-grandfather's home town Merthyr Tydfil on several occasions, once to open his birthplace museum at Chapel Row.

Born on May 21, 1841, Parry was only nine when he began work as a boy collier before joining his father at the mighty Cyfarthfa Ironworks.

He had been brought up by his mother to love music and was a member of the Bethesda Chapel choir in Merthyr before the family emigrated to the Welsh speaking community of Danville, Pennsylvania.

Parry had evidently lived and breathed music, even naming two of his sons after his favourite composers, Mendelssohn and Haydn. …

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