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date: 20 August 2019

Owen [Llwyn-Owen], Morfyddlocked

  • Rhian Davies


(b Treforest, Oct 1, 1891; d Oystermouth, Sept 7, 1918). Welsh composer, mezzo-soprano and pianist. She was educated at University College, Cardiff (BMus 1912), and at the RAM with Frederick Corder (Lucas Silver Medal 1913, ARAM 1918). World War I frustrated her ambition to study folk music in St Petersburg in 1915, and she developed instead her collaboration with Ruth Lewis, the pioneering Welsh ethnomusicologist. Many of her 180 compositions – orchestral works, choral, chamber and piano music, and a wealth of exquisite vocal miniatures – bear the imprint of folksong. Her mercurial yet emotionally intense personality, which intrigued a wide circle from David Lloyd George to D.H. Lawrence and Ezra Pound, also shines through. Productivity and engagements dwindled after her sudden marriage in 1917 to the Freudian psychoanalyst Ernest Jones, with whom she had a chequered relationship. Her early death was the result of a failed appendicectomy. A four-volume memorial edition of her songs, orchestral and piano music was published in London, ...

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Cardiff, University of Wales/Prifysgol Cymru
Aberystwyth, Llyfryell Genedlaethol Cymru/National Library of Wales