Aliases: Henry Brinley Richards
Born: 13 November 1817
Died: 1 May 1885
Richards was born in Hall Street, Carmarthen, his father being organist at St Peter's Church in the town and an organiser of local musical events. Richards won a prize at the Gwent-Morgannwg Eisteddfod of 1834, held at Cardiff, for his arrangement of the popular folk song, "The Ash Grove". As a result, he received the patronage of the Duke of Newcastle; this enabled him to study at the Royal Academy of Music, where he later became a professor. After completing his studies, he went to Paris where he became a pupil of Frederic Chopin. It was in Paris that his first major work, the Overture in F Minor, was performed.
Richards' most famous work is the song, "God Bless the Prince of Wales" (1862), written in honour of the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. Amongst his greatest works for the piano is the Fantasia On Favorite Airs From Meyerbeer's Opera "Les Huguenots", Op. 75. Although not Welsh-speaking, he was a patron of the National Eisteddfod of Wales and gave encouragement to Welsh music students. He used the bardic name "Pencerdd Towy", and supported Lady Llanover in her efforts to popularise the triple harp. Brinley Richards died at his home in Kensington, London, and is buried in Brompton Cemetery.
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