Swansea University awards degree to acclaimed figure in musical broadcasting

Huw Tregelles Williams

Swansea University has presented an honorary degree to Huw Tregelles Williams OBE, an internationally celebrated figure in the field of music and musical broadcasting.

Mr Williams was presented with the DLitt award today (8 January) during the degree ceremony for the College of Engineering.

Huw Tregelles Williams was born in Gowerton and educated in Llanelli Grammar School.

During his postgraduate study, he recorded several recitals for Radio 3 on completion of which he joined the BBC as music producer.   He was appointed Head of Music, BBC Wales in 1985 and first Director of the newly-expanded and renamed BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 1993. His 15-year tenure of these posts included 11 music series for BBC1 and BBC2 and orchestral tours to prestigious venues in North America, Japan, the Soviet Union and throughout Europe. 

He established CD recordings, education outreach and substantial sponsorship as regular features of the Orchestra's work and also commissioned new work from three generations of international and Welsh composers.

He has produced a series of programmes for S4C television on historic European organs and has given inaugural concerts at St. David's Hall and the National Museum of Wales, recitals at Sydney Town Hall, St. Paul's Cathedral and a special edition of BBC1's Songs of Praise from the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate the restoration of its Willis organ.

In 1998 he was appointed OBE and Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for service to music in Wales which has included membership of the Arts Council and the Council of the Royal College of Organists.

Presenting the degree to Huw was Sir Roderick Evans, Pro-Chancellor at Swansea University who said: “Huw Tregelles Williams has contributed immensely to Wales’ reputation as a land rich in musical tradition. He has dedicated his life to the production of music, and has played a major part in keeping the wonderful practise of organ-playing alive for a television audience.  Swansea and the region has a fine cultural heritage, and the University is building on this by increasing its musical scholarship.   We are very proud to welcome Huw Tregelles Williams into our Honorary Fellowship and as an ambassador for music and arts in the region.”

On receiving his award, Mr Williams said: “I am particularly honoured by such an award from Swansea University.  Having retired to my native city, I have been delighted to play a part in its artistic life, for example by directing its renowned Festival of Music and the Arts."