Sir Edward Elgar: A Life in Music



The story of Elgar’s life would seem to embody our dream of a composer: from very humble beginnings in Worcester, where his father ran a music shop, his exceptional talent took him to the heights of English society including a knighthood, the Order of Merit and finally a peerage. His music spoke directly to the public who loved its grandeur, pathos and sense of place. He was a patriotic composer who was proud of his melodies. But throughout his life Elgar was troubled by doubt, resentment and insecurity. He was not always an easy man to like. Only his wife remained beside him throughout his career, constantly providing encouragement and reassurance. Elgar was far from the simple hero we like to suppose, but that makes him much more interesting. This talk is accompanied by his wonderful music which, astonishingly, he believed would die with him.