Born 1 October 1891 at Treforest, Glamorganshire, daughter of William and Sarah Jane Owen. Her parents were very musical, her mother being a singer and pianist of more than average ability. She was educated at Pontypridd county school; University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire (holder of the Caradog Music Scholarship, 1909-12, Mus. Bac. 1912). She had a distinguished career at the Royal Academy of Music, 1912-7 (holder of Goring Thomas scholarship for composition, 1913-7, and awarded many of the academy's principal prizes and medals).

She married in February 1917 the psychiatrist Alfred Ernest Jones. Her early death on 7 September 1918, at the age of 26, was a serious loss to Welsh music. Morfydd Owen was a versatile and sensitive musician and an unusually gifted composer. Her compositions, which include orchestral and choral works, chamber music, piano solos, songs and folk-song arrangements, have striking originality, impeccable technique, and a distinctive quality of their own. Much of her music has sprung from a deep personal and national consciousness stimulated by the literature and folk-songs of her people. Three of her songs — ‘To our Lady of Sorrows,’ ‘Slumber Song of the Madonna,’ ‘Gweddi Pechadur,’ and the hymn tune ‘William,’ have found great favour in Wales, are outstanding examples of her genius.


Morfydd Llwyn Owen