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Joseph Parry (Composer)

Born: 21st May 1841, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

Died: 17th February 1903, Penarth, Wales

Nationality: Welsh

Joseph Parry was a Welsh composer and musician. Born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, he is best known as the composer of "Myfanwy" and the hymn tune "Aberystwyth", on which the African song "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" is said to be based. Parry was also the first Welshman to compose an opera; his composition, Blodwen, was the first opera in the Welsh language.

Born into a large family, Parry left school to work in the local coal mines when he was nine years of age. He then went to work at the Cyfarthfa Ironworks, where his father was also employed.

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