William Mathias CBE (1 November 1934 – 29 July 1992) was a Welsh composer.
He was born in Whitland, Carmarthenshire. A child prodigy, and started playing the piano at the age of three and began composing at the age of five. At Aberystwyth University, Mathias was a member of The Elizabethan Madrigal Singers and wrote 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo' for them in 1954. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Lennox Berkeley, where he was elected a fellow in 1965. He was professor of music and head of department in the University of Wales, Bangor, from 1970 until 1988.
His compositions include large scale works, including an opera, three symphonies, three piano concertos, and almost 20 organ works. 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 at St. Paul's Cathedral.
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, at St Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales.
"Jubilate" was published in 1975 by OUP, and first performed by Christopher Herrick for a recording of the composer's complete (at the time) organ works on the organ of Hereford Cathedral. It is dedicated to the record producer, Michael Smythe, who was truly a "ground-breaker" in his recordings of organs and choirs. It's a "jazzy and festive piece," but has some elements "darker" than the title might indicate. It bears the composer's fingerprints clearly, with its use of syncopation, uneven measures, and lots of brilliant passagework.
My attempt has been to show the glories and versatility of the famous Müller organ, and this will certainly present another side of its personality.
I dedicate this to EdoL for all of his help and insights in getting to "know and understand" this great instrument. THANKS, Edo! :-)
A photo of Mathias is attached below.