Frederick Bevan was an influential conductor and teacher of singing in Adelaide in the early decades of the twentieth century.
The son of a journalist, Bevan sang as a boy chorister at All Saints, Margaret Street, London. After his voice broke he continued his training in singing, piano, and organ. He played organ and sang in various church choirs, becoming a respected bass soloist. As well as giving recitals and working as an oratorio soloist in many parts of England, he held a number of distinguished church positions. He became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, Whitehall in 1878, and the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace in 1888, and also held appointments as Lay Vicar and Vicar Choral at Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral respectively.
Bevan arrived in Australia in June 1898 with his wife and two sons to become the first professor of singing at the University of Adelaide and Elder Conservatorium. He held this position until his retirement in 1935 and influenced large number of singers during his remarkably long tenure. He had been given an impressive farewell from leading members of the music profession in London. From its inception at the turn of the century he conducted the University Choral Class, which organisation later became the University of Adelaide Bach Choir. He was also the organist and choirmaster at the North Adelaide Congregational Church from 1909, and acted as an adjudicator at the Ballarat Eisteddfod on numerous occasions.
Bevan had established his reputation as a writer of popular songs before his arrival in Australia, publishing his earliest songs at the age of about 16 under the pseudonym Frederick Baliol. Bevan's oeuvre consists of over 100 songs in addition to a number of part songs, glees, and anthems. Some of his most popular songs were The Flight of Ages, The Admiral's Broom, and The Sailor's Sweetheart.