Clara Novello Davies
Clara Novello Davies was born in Cardiff to Jacob, a miner, and Margaret (née Evans) Davies and named after Clara Novello, a famous soprano (1818-1908). Her father, leader of the church choir, taught her to play the harmonium. She married David Davies, a solicitor's clerk with the same surname as her own, on 31 October 1883.
Their son, David Ivor Davies, became better known as Ivor Novello, the actor, composer, dramatist and director. Their adopted daughter, who was born Marie Williams but took the name Marie Novello, was a concert pianist who died from throat cancer at the age of 30.
In 1883, Clara Novello Davies founded and conducted the Welsh Ladies Choir, which won prizes at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893) and the Paris Exposition (1899). She was still conducting into her seventies when her New York-based Novello Davies Artist Choir was invited to the 1937 Paris Exposition. The choir raised funds for charity during WWII.
- Grove Music Online (subscription) (accessed 17 March 2007)