Sir Edward ELGAR 
2 June 1857 - 23 February 1934 (age 76)

Edward Elgar, important English 20th century composer. His 'Land of Hope and Glory' is one of the highlights of the annual 'Last Night of the Proms' in London.



A brief Bio



Portrait of Elgar


Born: Near Worcester, England. 2 June 1857
Father: William Elgar, music shopkeeper, piano tuner and church organist
Mother: Anne (Greening)
Siblings: Harry, Loo, Pollie, Ted, Jo, Frank.
Wife: (Caroline) Alice Roberts
Children: daughter Carice Irene
Religion: Catholic
Died: 23 February 1934 of cancer
Grave: Saint Wulstan’s, Little Malvern.Worcestershire


- 3 Symphonies
- Cello concerto
- Violin Concerto
- Enigma Variations
- Dream of Gerontius
- Pomp and Circumstance marches

A Life in Pictures

A brief biography

- Age 8: began piano and violin lessons. taught mostly by his father. Largely self taught in music theory
- Age 15: Wanted to go to Leipzig to study music but couldn't afford to. Started work with a local solicitor. Soon left and started to give piano and violin lessons and to help in his father's shop.
- Age 16: He never took on a full-time job but always worked as a freelance musician - conducting, teaching, performing and composing.
- Age 22: Bandmaster at the Worcester and County Lunatic Asylum where music was used as therapy.
- Age 32: Married Caroline Alice Roberts, a novelist, who fortunately was quite wealthy.
- Age 42: Composed immensely successful 'Enigma Variations' which finally brought him fame.
- Age 44: Composed 'Land of Hope and Glory' - first of the 'Pomp and Circumstance' marches.
Sir Arthur Sullivan died in 1900 and Elgar was his natural successor as England's top composer.
- Age 47: Knighted. Now he is Sir Edward Elgar. Four visits to the USA between 1902 and 1914.
- Age 51: First Symphony performed in Manchester.
- Age 57: (1914) Depressed by the First World War during which he composed very little.
- Age 63: His wife died, affecting him deeply.
- Age 67: Appointed Master of the King's Music
- Age 71: Made Knight Commander of the Victorian Order. Started work on a 3rd Symphony and an opera.
- Age 74: Made a Baronet
- Age 75: Conducts Violin Concerto in Paris and visits Delius.
- Age 76: Dies of colorectal cancer.


"I like to look on the composer's vocation as the old troubadours or bards did. In those days it was no disgrace for a man to be turned on to step in front of an army and inspire the people with a song."

"There is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it and you simply take as much as you require."

"I always said God was against art and I still believe it."

Cello Concerto 1st Movement -
Yo-Yo Ma with Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Nimrod - Enigma Variations, Remembrance Sunday

Land of Hope and Glory - Last night of the Proms

The Dream of Gerontius, Part 1
Andrew Davis conducts BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Ken Russell's film "Elgar" - part 3 of 4

The other 3 parts of the film are also available on youtube

Links, sources and where to go for more information

The Elgar Birthplace Museum

The Elgar Society



Sterling Times website

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