Rhian Samuel (b.1944) was born in Aberdare and was educated in Britain and the United States. Her orchestral works span from Elegy-Symphony (St Louis Symphony Orchestra, conductor Leonard Slatkin, 1981) and La belle dame sans merci for chorus and orchestra (co-winner of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Rudolph Nissim Award, 1983) to Dawnsiau’r Nant (Dances of the Stream) for the Welsh Proms, Cardiff, 1999, Tirluniau (Landscapes) for the BBC Proms, London, 2000 (BBC National Orchestra of Wales), and Lights in the City, written for her students at City University and premiered in 2010. Much of her vocal music is concerned with women ‘speaking for themselves’; it ranges fromClytemnestra for soprano and orchestra, premiered by Della Jones and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 1994, toCerddi Hynafol, settings of early Welsh women’s poetry, for the Fishguard Festival, 2001. She has collaborated extensively with the Anglo-American poet Anne Stevenson in works such as Daughters’ Letters, premiered in 1997 by Valdine Anderson with Sinfonia 21, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, and Nantcol Songs, 2003, for Gillian Keith, soprano, and Simon Lepper, piano, a work about Snowdonian landscapes. In March 2006 The Flowing Sand, a song-cycle to poems by Samuel Beckett, was premiered at the Beckett/Proust/Deleuze conference held at the School of European Studies, Cardiff. Recent performances include The Path through the Woods, played by Pamela Thorby, recorder, with the Welsh Sinfonia, conductor Mark Eager, at Cardiff’s Temple of Peace in April 2011, and Mechanical and Fantastical Studies for solo piano, premiered by Jennifer Lee in Ciboure, France, in August 2011 as part of the ‘Les Raveliades’ festival. Later in the same month, Mist on the Hills for accordion and string quartet received its first performance at the Machynlleth Festival, played by Milos Milivojevic and the Juritz Quartet. New works include What Cheer?, a setting of an anonymous 16th-century carol for the Choir of New College Oxford, and Moon and Birds, a song-cycle to poems by Anne Stevenson and Emily Dickinson, first performed by Frances Bourne and the Centenary Ensemble, conducted by Andrew Morley, at St James’s, Piccadilly, in November 2011. Rhian Samuel has taught at the St Louis Conservatory of Music, USA, and Reading University, and since 2010 has been Emeritus Professor of Music at City University, London. She is also a tutor in composition at Magdalen College, Oxford. Rhian Samuel co-edited the Norton/New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers (1994).