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Ann Griffiths, harpist, harp historian, writer, composer, teacher and editor was born in South Wales. After graduating in Welsh at Cardiff University, she obtained a Premier Prix of the Paris Conservatoire in the class of the legendary Pierre Jamet – the first British-born harpist ever to do so. Later she graduated as a Master of Arts in Musicology from the University of Birmingham. As a performer, her major interest is in historical harps, and she is passionate about the harp music of John Parry, Krumpholtz, Dussek, Parish Alvars, John Thomas and N.C. Bochsa. She has written extensively for various scholarly publications including the New Dictionary of National Biography and the New Grove Music Dictionaries, where she was responsible for 46 entries, including a completely new major article on Sebastian Erard. At present her main scene of activity is Adlais Music Publishers, of which she is Director. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the World Harp Congress and former Chairman of the Lady Llanover Society.

View all Ann Griffiths works published by Adlais

ADLAIS (pronounced Adlai + s) is the Welsh for Echo, and it was as a small recording company that Adlais was set up in 1963.

Wales is known all over the world as Gwlad y Delyn – the Land of the Harp – and forty-one years later, Wales-based Adlais is the probably the best-known specialist publisher of harp music in the whole world.

It was in 1961 that Ann Griffiths and her husband, Dr Lloyd Davies, established at their home, Pantybeiliau, Gilwern, the now legendary – but then innovative – residential courses of Ysgol y Delyn (School of Harp). It having become apparent that there was a dearth of published teaching material for these courses, the need to supply it led to a change of emphasis at Adlais – also their brain-child.

Publishing activities began, appropriately enough, with the publication of Saith Gwers i Ddechreuwyr/ Seven Lessons for Beginners (001), a series of preparatory exercises and pieces originally designed to take the absolute beginner from zero to a performance of the Welsh National Anthem in seven easy lessons.

A re-issue of four of John Thomas (Pencerdd Gwalia)’s splendid studies intended for the more advanced harpist followed, and then came the delightful Y Telynor Bach/The Young Harpist/Le Jeune Harpiste for the very youngest, introducing the most typically exotic harp effects at the earliest stages , and designed to exploit the exciting possibilities of the lever harp. Next came Meinir Heulyn’s brilliantly conceived Telyn y Werin collections (004 and 005). Newly re-set in 2004 for a sixth edition, they have been provided with a captivating new cover illustration.

Telyn is the Welsh for harp, and Telynor is the Welsh for harpist. Our aim and our major strength at Adlais is that ours are specialist harp publications, specially prepared by harpists for harpists. Our editors and consultants are practising harpists, musicologists, harp historians, experienced teachers, composers and arrangers.

Adlais specialises in making available harp music which previously was virtually unobtainable. This is especially true of music by 18th and 19th century British composers, like Parish Alvars, John Thomas and John Parry, and by the three composers of Bohemian origin, Bochsa, Dussek and Krumpholtz, whose Sonate dans le style pathétique predates that of Beethoven of the same name, and which is published for the first time since 1787. Our annotated editions are beautifully produced and we specialise in clear lay-out, precisely notated pedalling, impeccable page-turns and informative notes on the composers and their music – all at reasonable expense. Our attractive covers often feature portraits of the composers.

Whilst the casual observer who does not know the instrument may accuse the harp of having a limited repertoire, Adlais has proved this allegation to be untrue. With a very few exceptions, all our publications are original harp music, composed over a period of four-and-a-half centuries. They range from a reconstruction of the earliest printed music for the harp (Alonso Mudarra, 1546) to the brilliant and entertaining ‘The Cat and the Pigeon’ for flute and harp by 21-year-old Owain Llwyd (winner of the prestigious Composer’s Medal, National Eisteddfod of Wales, 2004).

There are tried and proven favourites too – all-time favourite ‘La Source’ by Zabel, in a newly re-set and immaculately presented edition (2002), and the ever-popular ‘The Minstrel’s Adieu’ by John Thomas, now with a stunning new colour cover featuring ‘The Bard’ by Loutherbourg. Favourite compositions by Ann Griffiths are her Fantasias on Welsh Folksongs, her Variants on ‘Immortal, Invisible’ and ‘Y Delyn Aur’ (The Golden Harp), the cover of which is now embellished with the beautiful colour engraving of the same name by Liliane Schaefer-Minerbe.

Since the death of Dr Lloyd Davies – founder and inspiration – Ann Griffiths has taken on the direction of Adlais and its continually expanding catalogue. Do visit the site regularly as we add new pieces, new information and new links.

We hope you enjoy browsing the listings in our Catalogue of Harp Music. We now publish over 120 titles unobtainable elsewhere, but should you have any suggestions as to expanding the repertoire even further, Adlais would be glad to hear from you.