Geraint Lewis was born in Cardiff in 1958 and educated at Bryntaf and Rhydfelen Welsh Schools, and also at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he was a Junior Scholar from 1973-77.
He read Music at St. John’s College, Cambridge and was a pupil there of the legendary George Guest before being appointed, on graduating, to lecture at the Music Department of Bangor University under William Mathias.
After a period at the BBC in Cardiff he moved to Nimbus Records near Monmouth in 1988. There he produced many celebrated recordings and ran the Nimbus Foundation’s purpose-built hall and studio at Wyastone Leys until 2002. He now lives in Cardiff again where he teaches, lectures, broadcasts, writes and composes.
During a varied career, Geraint has contributed to several fields of musical activity. Academically he has worked with H.C. Robbins Landon on Haydn and Mozart, Professor Ian Kemp on Tippett and Pwyll ap Sion on Mathias. In 1985 he edited the 80th Birthday Tribute to Sir Michael Tippett and he is currently engaged on research into the music of William Mathias, in affiliation with Bangor University, on whose works he has published many seminal articles together with several on Alun Hoddinott.
He has contributed to the New Grove Dictionary of Music, the New Grove Opera Dictionary and the National Dictionary of Biography and writes regularly for Gramophone, Strad and Barn magazines – and periodicals on a wide range of subjects. In 1992 he was appointed Artistic Director of the North Wales Music Festival in succession to William Mathias. From 1998-2003 this annual event held at St.Asaph Cathedral enjoyed the Patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales.
Moving on in 2004 – after 12 years – Geraint remains an Honorary Patron of the St. David’s Cathedral Festival in Pembrokeshire and is a Vice-President of the Presteigne Festival. Over the years Geraint has also had works of his featured at these and at many other Welsh Festivals – including Criccieth, Beaumaris, Lower Machen, Bangor, The National Eisteddfod in Dinefwr (1996) and Anglesey (1999), Vale of Glamorgan, Fishguard, Swansea, St.Arvans and the Three Choirs Festival at Hereford in 2003.
Serving on many public bodies in Wales, Geraint was a member of The Arts Council of Wales between 1996-2002 and its Music Chairman, having already been a member of the Music Panel from 1992. He has continued to serve the council annually ever since in various capacities. He has been a member of the Advisory Boards of both BBC Cymru and HTV Wales and a committee member of Arts & Business Cymru, Live Music Now Wales, Sinfonia Cymru, Mid-Wales Opera and Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru. Between 2000-04 he was a Governor of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and from 2000-07 a member of the Johnian Society Committee at his alma mater in Cambridge. He continues to serve as a trustee of Music Theatre Wales.
As a composer he has written some 150 works in virtually all genres. Notable among these are the community opera Culhwch ac Olwen to a libretto by the late Gwyn Thomas – a Millennium Festival commission for Criccieth Festival; Nearly in Heaven – a Dylan Thomas choral symphony for Only Men Aloud and BBCNOW at the 2003 Swansea Festival; the Hereford Mass to open the 2003 Three Choirs Festival; Afallon – for WNO to sing at the 1999 opening of the National Assembly for Wales by HM The Queen, and again in 2004; Mabinogi – a Harp Concerto for Catrin Finch and Sinfonia Cymru in 2012; Anatiomaros – a Piano Sonata (in memory of Alun Hoddinott) for Llyr Williams in 2011; Mysterium Fidei – an Organ Sonata for the late John Scott in 2013.
His church and choral music is widely performed by Cathedral and College choirs throughout the UK and his anthem The Souls of the Righteous (in memory of William Mathias) has become a contemporary classic. It was written for St.Paul’s Cathedral in 1992, published by Oxford University Press (English Church Anthems edited by John Rutter) recorded over 12 times and broadcast in its orchestral version most recently as part of BBCNOW’s Aberfan Memorial Concert from Swansea on October 22nd 2016. In November 2018 it was performed again at St.Paul’s Cathedral, at Westminster Abbey and at High Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.