Born in Montgomeryshire, Rhian Davies began her career in music as a child singer before studying at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Jesus College, Oxford, and taking up visiting fellowships at Indiana University at Bloomington, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin, and the National Library of Australia, Canberra.
Dr Davies specialises in tracing previously undocumented materials in public and private collections. Her discoveries have resulted in numerous world première and first modern performances in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia and her research is credited with restoring many composers to the repertory, notably Morfydd Owen, the subject of her Doctoral thesis and best-selling pictorial biography Never So Pure A Sight (1994) which has become a standard reference and teaching work. She has scripted and produced documentaries for the three Welsh television channels and contributes regularly to Classic FM, BBC Radio 3 and a range of academic and popular publications. Recent broadcasts include Beti a’i Phobol for BBC Radio Cymru and Robert Winston’s Musical Analysis for BBC Radio 4.
As Artistic Director of the Gregynog Festival, Wales’ oldest classical music festival, since 2006, Dr Davies’ curation has been reviewed as ‘progressive’ (Classical Music), ‘rewarding’ (Guardian) and ‘inspired’ (The Times). At the invitation of the Welsh Government, she has created showcases for the Festival at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington DC (2009), and Wales Week USA at the Lincoln Center, New York City (2010), and was recognised by the Institute of Welsh Affairs’ inaugural Inspire Wales Awards (2010) in the category to honour contributions by individuals to the advancement of Wales’ reputation in the arts, media and creative industries.