Aiken, (Mary) Maud (1898–1978), musician, was born 13 August 1898 in Dublin, younger of two daughters of John J. Davin , grocer and alderman, and Mary Davin (née O'Gara). In 1914 she entered the Royal Irish Academy of Music and was awarded the Coulson scholarship (1914), the Coulson academy scholarship (1915), and the Vandeleur academy scholarship for violin (1916). She studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London (1917–22), became sub-professor of violin (1920), won medals, graduated LRAM (1921) and was elected ARAM (1931) after being appointed the Academy's honorary local representative in Dublin. She also studied at the London Academy of Music (later renamed London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), where she was winner of four gold medals and leader of the orchestra under Sir Alexander McKenzie, and at the Conservatoire Nationale de Musique in Paris. She was an early member of the 2RN (Radio Éireann) orchestra, playing the viola. Appointed director of the Municipal School of Music, Dublin (1930–34), she was noted for her organisational ability; she expanded the curriculum and encouraged the appreciation of Irish music. As a representative of Dublin corporation, she joined the board of governors of the RIAM in 1939, served as vice-president (1950–78), and was awarded a fellowship of the academy in 1961. As chairman of the board and de facto head for more than twenty years, she encouraged high standards, improved the finances, broadened the activities of the academy, and presided over increasing numbers of students. An academy junior piano scholarship was renamed ‘the Maud Aiken exhibition’ and was first awarded under that name in 1972. She was vice-president (1963–7) and president (1971–8) of the Feis Ceoil Association, and a member of the Wexford festival council. A distinguished musician, she won many prizes, and the Order of Merit was conferred on her by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1971. She died 10 July 1978 in a car crash and is buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. She married (1934) Frank Aiken (qv), who was then minister for defence; they had one daughter and two sons.
RIAM minute books and administration volume 1856–1955; application register (NAI, NA/1120/11/4); Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dublin, archives; Royal Academy of Music, London, archives; Report of the governors of the Royal Irish Academy of Music (1916, 1978); Feis Ceoil syllabus (1963, 1979); Ir. Times, 11 July 1978 (portr.), 12 July 1978; Ir. Press, 11 July 1978 (portr.); Jim Cooke, A musical journey (1994) (portr.); Richard Pine and Charles Acton (ed.), To talent alone: the Royal Irish Academy of Music 1848–1998 (1998) (photo); GRO; information from Frank Aiken (son) (DIB archives)