Ymddiriedolaeth
Nansi Richards

Nansi

Ganwyd Nansi yn Fferm Penybont, Penybontfawr, ar Fai 14, 1888. Magwyd ei diddordeb mewn cerddoriaeth werin o ddyddiau cynnar iawn, o glywed y delyn a'r ffidil yn cael eu chwarae gan sipsiwn a ddoi i aros o dro i dro mewn sgubor yn y fferm. Cafodd ei gwersi telyn cyntaf gan Delynor Ceiriog - Tom Lloyd, Llangynog.


A hithau yn ferch ifanc 20 oed, enillodd ei gwobr fawr cyntaf yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Llangollen ym 1908, a hynny yn erbyn telynorion o fri. Cymaint oedd y cyffro yn ei bro enedigol fel y canwyd
clychau eglwys Penybontfawr a Llanfyllin i ddathlu. Aeth ymlaen i ennill y gystadleuaeth dair gwaith yn olynol, ac aeth y sôn amdani ar led drwy Gymru gyfan.


Aeth i'r Guild Hall yn Llundain, ac yn ystod ei chyfnod yno arferai alw'n gyson yn Downing Street i ddiddanu Lloyd George a'i deulu. Bu'n crwydro Lloegr am gyfnod yn diddanu yn y Music Halls, ac yna ym 1923 cafodd wahoddiad i America. Bu'n cydweithio yno a rhai o gerddorion mwya'r byd a daeth yn gyfeillgar â William Kellogg, perchennog y cwmni Corn Flakes. Cafodd ei disgrifio gan Sevesta, y telynor enwog o'r Eidal, fel "y delynores a chanddi'r enaid mawr a'r dechneg orau a glywais gan neb erioed".


Ond er bod yr ysfa grwydrol yn rhan o'i natur ar hyd ei hoes, roedd y dynfa i'w chartref bob amser yn gryfach. Daeth adref i Gymru, ac yma yn bennaf y dewisodd wneud ei chyfraniad - i gyngherddau, nosweithiau llawen ac eisteddfodau. Bu'n delynores swyddogol neu answyddogol yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol am dros 60 mlynedd. Dysgodd dô ar ôl tô o bobl ifanc i ganu'r delyn. Roedd ganddi dwsinau o unawdau clasurol a channoedd o alawon Cymraeg ar ei chof.


Yn ystod y rhyfel teithiodd hyd a lled gwledydd Prydain gydag ENSA i ddiddori'r milwyr a chymerodd ran mewn dros 2,000 o gyngherddau gyda Chôr Telyn Eryri o 1930 ymlaen. Perfformiodd droeon o flaen y teulu Brenhinol a chafodd yr hawl gan George V i arddel y teitl "Telynores Frenhinol". Ond dewis peidio a wnaeth. Derbyniodd yr MBE gan y Frenhines. Ac yna ym 1977 cafodd radd Doethur er Anrhydedd mewn cerddoriaeth gan Brifysgol Cymru.


Perfformiodd yn gyhoeddus am y tro olaf ym mhriodas Dafydd Roberts yn eglwys Llangelynnin - gan ddefnyddio un llaw oherwydd strôc. Bu farw yn ddiweddarach, ar Ragfyr 21, 1979 ac fe'i claddwyd gyda'i gwr, Cecil Jones, yn eglwys Pennant Melangell.


Yn ei chyfnod, hi oedd awdurdod penna'r byd ar y delyn deires, ac yn aml yn adleisio hên gyfnod y Baroc. Cynrychiolai draddodiad oedd yn ymestyn yn ôl genedlaethau lawer. Ond nid am ei
chyfraniad hi ym myd y delyn yn unig y cofiwn amdani. Roedd ganddi bersonoliaeth unigryw: yn ffraeth, yn naturiol a gwerinol, yn egniol (yn enwedig ar ôl hanner nos!) ac roedd yn hynod o ddiwylliedig. Roedd hi'n gymeriad yng ngwir ystyr y gair, a gellid dweud iddi dyfu'n chwedl yn ystod ei hoes ei hun.

Nansi

Nansi Richards was born on the 14th May 1888 at Penybontfawr in Montgomeryshire. Her interest in folk music began at an early age encouraged by the harp and fiddle playing of travelling gypsies that used to stay in the barn of her family's farm. She was taught to play the harp by "Telynor Ceiriog" - Tom Lloyd from Llangynog. With him she studied the triple harp, an instrument that had become scarce by the beginning of the century.


She won her first major award at the age of twenty at the National Eisteddfod held at Llangollen in 1908. It was to be the first of three consecutive wins in the Eisteddfod, and as a result of this her name became known throughout Wales.


She went to study at the London Guild Hall of Music and during her stay there became a frequent guest at Downing Street, performing for Lloyd George and his family. In 1923 Nansi was invited to America, where she worked with some of the world's best musicians. Her friends there included
Henry Ford and William Kellogg.


Her love of travelling stayed with her throughout her life, but the call of home was always stronger. Here in Wales was where she performed the majority of her concerts and took part in numerous "Nosweithiau Lawen" and "Eisteddfodau". Nansi was both official and unofficial harpist for the
National Eisteddfod for over 60 years. She taught generations of young people to play the harp. She memorised dozens of classical solos and hundreds of Welsh Tunes.


During the war Nansi travelled throughout Britain with ENSA, entertaining troops. From 1930
onwards she took part in over 2,000 concerts with the Snowdonia Harp Choir and performed before the Royal Family on many occasions. King George V bestowed on her title of "Royal Harpist", although Nansi chose not to use the title.


She was awarded the MBE by the Queen and in 1977 received an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Wales.


Her last public performance was at the wedding of Dafydd Roberts in Llangelynnin Church. She played using only one hand due to the effects of a stroke. Nansi died two months later on
21 December 1979 and was buried with her husband, Cecil Jones, in Pennant Melangell Church.


In her time Nansi Richards was the world's greatest authority on the Triple Harp. She represented a tradition that went back many generations. But it is not only because of her contribution to the world of harps that we remember Nansi. She was a unique personality, energetic, down to earth, generous and cultured. A true character, someone who became a legend in her own lifetime.




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