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.
Tomorrow, May 5th, is Ascension Day, and NO Ascension Day would be complete without a fanfare!
This one, by William Mathias, is just bristling with energy and drive. It was composed to celebrate the inauguration of the Christe Organ at the Memorial Hall, Barry, on February 28, 1987.
It was published by Oxford University Press in 1991, and is available in the volume, "Ceremonial Music for Organ," published by Oxford in 1997.
This is one of Mathias's pieces that isn't heard too often. Come to think of it, I think this is the ONLY time I've heard it! ;-)
A photo of the composer is attached below.