Novello-Davies (real name, Davies),Clara

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Novello-Davies (real name, Davies),Clara

Novello-Davies (real name, Davies),Clara, Welsh singer, choral conductor, and composer; b. Cardiff, April 7, 1861; d. London, March 1, 1943. Her father (who was also her first teacher) called her “Clara Novello” after the celebrated singer of that name, and she adopted the combined name professionally. She sang at concerts; in 1881 she turned to choral conducting; organized a Royal Welsh Ladies’ Choir, with which she traveled with fine success in Great Britain, France, America, and South Africa; at the World’s Fair in Chicago (1893) and at the Paris Exposition (1900) the chorus was awarded first prize. She was commended by Queen Victoria (1894) and by King George V and Queen Mary (1928). She publ, a number of successful songs (A Voice from the Spirit Land, The Vigil, and Comfort); authored You Can Sing and an autobiography, The Life I Have Loved (London, 1940). Her son, Ivor Novello (real name, David Ivor Davies) (b. Cardiff, Jan. 15, 1893; d. London, March 6, 1951), was a composer, playwright, and actor who, at his mother’s request, wrote the popular World War I song Till the Boys Come Home (Keep the Home Fires Burning; 1914). He wrote musical comedies and revues, and was also active as an actor. After working as a playwright, he resumed composing for the stage, his most successful musical being The Dancing Years (London, March 23, 1939).


S. Wilson, J. (London, 1975).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire