It was with great sadness that on the afternoon of Friday, 24 July 2020, I learnt that Ann Griffiths had passed away earlier that morning.
Ann's death was rather sudden and unexpected but was peaceful, she appears to have fallen asleep in a favoured chair and not woken up. There was no long illness, no suffering.
Ann was still living in Tregare where the house had been converted into two homes with one of her sons, Ifan, living next door with his wife and child. It was Ann's Daughter in Law who found Ann when she went round for their daily morning coffee and chat.
While Adlais Music Publishers was passed on to Creighton's Collection in 2014 I always think that the main reason was that Ann knew that I could get on with the routine administrative business of running a publishing company, which I love doing, leaving her much more time for both her family and her real musical passion - Musicology. Ann loved researching the music, the composers, the harpists and the instruments of their times, often finding a small snippet of information leading to larger discoveries of facts lost to the harp world during intervening years.
Ann was currently working on a number of different research projects, indeed the night before she died she was speaking to her other son Guto, who lives in Switzerland, about her latest discoveries. Ann was also still actively encouraging younger generations of harpists. Always ready with support and advice for anyone who needed it. She was as busy as ever, as sharp minded as ever, as generous with her time as ever, as fun to work with as one could want and still very independent despite no longer driving due to her deteriorating eye sight. She was otherwise in reasonably good health for her age and had not seen the doctors since last October after recovering from a broken hip after tripping while out walking.
Over the last few days there have been some wonderful, heart warming posts and comments made on social media. Understandably some people who know the value of the work Ann undertook have wondered what will happen to Ann's music, archives and research. Ann left very clear and detailed instructions for Ifan, Guto and myself when she appointed the three of us as Executors of her Will and Trustees of her Estate.
I will miss Ann dearly; her friendship, her support, her encouragement and her trust. In the 16 years we worked together she always treated me as an "extra son" and my wife, as a daughter in law but what I will treasure the most and am eternally grateful for is the love and support she gave so freely to my son Benjamin. She was so much more than a Mentor.
Ann was 85.
Tim Creighton Griffiths 29/07/2020
GRIFFITHS was a student of Pierre Jamet at the Paris Conservatoire,
where she was the first British-born harpist since 1892 to
gain the Premier Prix in harp playing. She graduated at Cardiff
(Hons. Welsh) and Birmingham (M.A., Musicology) Universities.
She enjoys a multi-faceted career as harpist, harp historian,
teacher, writer, composer, editor and lecturer, a leading figure
in the harp world of today. Formerly Professor at the Royal
Academy of Music, she still teaches both at Cardiff University
and the Welsh College of Music and Drama, and is much in demand
for private consultation lessons and international masterclasses.
Ann was co-author of the Harp article in the New Grove Dictionaries
of Music. She is responsible for the important new article
on Erard in the revised edition of this work, as well as more
than 40 shorter articles on composers, harpists, harpmakers
and harp terminology.
As a performer, Ann Griffiths's main interest is in historical
harps, and in playing the music composed for them on contemporaneous