Rhian Samuel was born in Aberdare, Wales, in 1944 to a Welsh-speaking, musical family. She has lived in Britain and the United States and currently spends most of the year in Aberdyfi, North Wales. She writes orchestral music, chamber music and vocal and choral music and has worked with many of today's foremost classical artists. To date around 120 of her works have been published. In the USA she was joint winner of the ASCAP-Rudolph Nissim Award, 1983, for her choral-orchestral work, La belle dame sans merci. In the UK she won first prize at the Greenwich Festival (1979) and has received subsequent accolades including the Glyndŵr Medal for services to the Arts in Wales and most recently an Hon DMus from the University of Wales. Her first large orchestral work was Elegy-Symphony (St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, conductor, 1981) while her Tirluniau/Landscapes (2000) was premiered at the BBC Millennium Proms in the Albert Hall by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBCNOW, Tadaaki Otaka, conductor).