National Library of Wales

William Mathias Music Manuscripts and Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 WILIAS

Held at: NLW

Title: William Mathias Music Manuscripts and Papers

Short title: Mathias, William, music manuscripts and papers

Dates of creation: 1950-1994

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.567 cubic metres (38 boxes); 1 box (August 2006)

Name of creator(s): William Mathias


Administrative and biographical history: William Mathias, musician and composer, was born in Whitland, Carmarthenshire, on 1 November 1934. He studied Music under Professor Ian Parrott at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1952-1956. In 1956 he won an open scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied composition with Lennox Berkeley and piano with Peter Katin. He was appointed Lecturer in the Music Department of the University College of North Wales, Bangor, in 1959, and remained there until 1968 when he left to take an appointment as Senior Lecturer in Music at Edinburgh University. In 1970 he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Music at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and remained in that position until 1988 when he retired to concentrate on composition. He died at Y Graigwen, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, 29 July 1992. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1965. In 1966 he became a Doctor of Music of the University of Wales, and in 1990 was elected a Fellow of the University. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Westminster Choir College, Princeton, in 1987. In 1968 he was awarded the Arnold Bax Society Prize, and in 1982 the Guild for the Promotion of Welsh Music�TMs John Edwards Memorial Award. He founded the North Wales Music Festival, based at St Asaph Cathedral, in 1972, and directed it until his death. He also helped to establish the Fishguard Festival in 1970. From 1961 he was a house composer with Oxford University Press. He was a member of: the Welsh Arts Council, 1974-1981, and chairman of the Music Committee, 1982-8; the Music Advisory Committee of the British Council, 1974-1983; the Incorporated Society of Musicians, 1976-1980, and president, 1979-1980; the BBC Central Music Advisory Committee, 1979-1986; the Welsh Advisory Committee of the British Council, 1979-1990; the Council of the Composers�TM Guild of Great Britain, from 1982. He was vice-president of the Royal College of Organists, 1985-1986, and chairman of the International Incorporated Society of Musicians in 1990. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in the 1985 New Year�TMs Honours.


Scope and content: Musical manuscripts and personal papers of William Mathias, including manuscript and published scores, 1950-1994; personal correspondence, 1972-1992; lectures and articles by him, 1972-1991; reviews, programmes, press releases, newsletters and ephemera relating to his work and honours awarded to him, 1952-1994; and correspondence of Yvonne Mathias relating mainly to performances of her husband's work, 1987-1994. The additional box received in 2006 remains uncatalogued.


Language/script: English, Welsh

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: Music manuscripts (juvenilia, unpublished works, non Oxford University Press works, unfinished works; choral music; anthems; canticles; carols; vocal music; opera; music, dance; orchestral music; concertos; instrumental music, chamber music; organ) and Personal papers (correspondence to WM; correspondence from WM; correspondence to Yvonne Mathias; correspondence relating to miscellaneous matters; miscellaneous material relating to specific compositions; lectures and articles by WM; articles and reviews; press releases and newsletters; programmes; material relating to the Williams Ferris Chorale's visit to Cardiff, June 1986; material relating to WM's CBE, 1985; material relating to WM's Honorary Degree Ceremony, University of Wales, 1989; miscellaneous)

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by his widow, Yvonne Mathias, and daughter, Rhiannon Mathias, 1994. A further donation was received from Ms Anna Smart, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, August 2006.



Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, William Mathias Papers, 1994; Stevens Meic (ed.), The Arts in Wales (Welsh Arts Council, 1979).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH

Date(s) of description: March 2003



Anthems | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Cantatas | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Canticles | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Carols | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Chamber music | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Choral music | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Composers | Wales | Archives

Concertos | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Liturgical music | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Mathias, William | 1934-1992 | Archives

Mathias, William | 1934-1992 | Musical manuscripts

Music | Wales | Manuscripts

Operas | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Orchestral music | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Organ music | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Piano music | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Sacred music | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Vocal music | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Personal names

Mathias, William, 1934-1992

Corporate names