Welcome to the Edward Elgar Foundation website

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This site is to honor and support the people, organizations and other entities interested in keeping the legacy of this great composer alive and well in the memories of those who have heard his magnificent classical music compositions and to ensure that his music continues to be performed. Though the great man himself has passed on his music will withstand the test of time. Our mission is to ensure that these great works do not get lost, so that millions more around the world can enjoy the beautiful works of Elgar.
Our passion for classical music is the inspiration for this site. It is a passion that is shared by many but is at risk of being lost if the music is not preserved for current generations and those to follow to enjoy and appreciate. It is with the aim of ensuring both Elgar’s compositions and classical music in general do not lose their place in today’s world of music.

Elgar is considered to be England’s greatest composer of his generation, if not of all time. His numerous works have been played through the decades at some of the most prestigious concert halls both in the United Kingdom and abroad. His continuing worldwide recognition as a composer of note is important not only to England but to the classical music world at large. We aim to encourage the continuing enjoyment of his music, both for musicians and for audiences alike. We encourage classical music enthusiasts of all ages to explore the works of the great composer and learn more about the interesting life Elgar lived, for he was not only a great composer but very competent as a musician and conductor, as well as a lover of literature. The man, his life, and his music must live on.

Biography

Early Years

Edward William Elgar was born on June 2 1987 in Lower Broadheath, a small village near Worcester, England and was the fourth of seven children. His father William was a piano tuner by trade and owned a music store where he sold sheet music and musical instruments, as well as being a professional violinist...

Music

After just a few short months at the solicitor’s office Elgar decided to embark upon a musical career, teaching piano and violin as well as helping out in his father’s store on occasion. Elgar and his father were both active members of the Worcester Glee Club and it was here that he accompanied the singers on violin, and composed works...

Personal Life

It was at the age of 29 that Elgar met the woman who was to become his wife. Alice Roberts became a pupil of Elgar’s and despite being eight years his senior the two married three years later, much to the horror of her parents who considered a musician beneath her...

Critics

Though it took considerable time and effort Elgar began to build a reputation as a composer during the 1890’s, with several pieces being performed publicly. Critics began to accept him as a composer of note although their reviews were often polite rather than enthusiastic...

Latest Blog Posts

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The Musical Works of Sir Edward Elgar

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Sir Edward Elgar was a composer of classical music and during his lifetime was a prolific composer, having created well over 200 pieces. His works varied greatly, from orchestral works, choral music and songs, symphonies to concertos for violin and cello. His very first composition was written at the age of 10 and was for a play that was written and performed by his family. Though the compositions he wrote during the first 40 years of his life were not destined to make him famous Elgar was in demand and wrote many choral festival pieces upon request. Unfortunately for he and his family sales of his works did not provide Elgar with an income on which they could live. Though he was a composer at heart Elgar was forced to take up other employment in order to feed himself, his wife and daughter, Carice.

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The Birthplace of Sir Edward Elgar

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As well as being the village in which famous British composer Edward Elgar began his life, Lower Broadheath, Worcester, England is a thriving community that includes a church, village hall, Post Office, shop, 3 pubs, a village green with a football field, a village common with playing areas, and a school that teaches around 150 children aged 4 to 11. The population as of the 2011 census was 1728. Just a mere 3 miles north-west of Worcester, Lower Broadheath is a civil parish in the Malvern Hills district of Worcestershire, England. The village has several large housing estates, but the place that draws people to the area is the Museum that has been created out of the cottage home Edward Elgar was born in to preserve the legacy of one of England’s greatest composers of classical music.

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Sir Edward Elgar Performances

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Though Sir Edward Elgar’s rise to fame was slow and fraught with indifference to his earlier works, once his classical music compositions were recognized and appreciated it was not long before his music was being played not only in concert halls around the United Kingdom but internationally also. Today, through the love and appreciation of great music, and the untiring efforts of the entities that work to keep Elgar’s music alive, many a concert hall is filled with the beautiful sound of his music. Many people have heard his music but may not have known who composed it. Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March is a tradition at many High School and University graduation ceremonies and of course is played at the annual BBC Proms.

Complete Edition

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The Dream Of Gerontius, op 38

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The Two Symphonies Falstaff

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String Quartet in E Minor op. 83

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It is said that the highest accolade any composer can receive is to have his or her entire works published in a complete edition. When Novello announced in 1981 that they were going to undertake that very project, followers of the great composer were ecstatic. This undertaking was by no means an easy task as by the time every published work of Elgar’s had been collated into the complete edition it consisted of 41 volumes. Sadly the project proved to be too much for Novello and the project was abandoned before completion. Though little occurred to further the project over the following 5 years, however during meetings in 1999 and 2000 the Elgar Society decided to pick up the project and see it through to completion. The complete edition was to be known as the Elgar Society Edition. This entailed establishing a trust, appointing a board of directors and engaging an editorial board for the editing of future volumes.


The express aim of the Elgar Society Edition’s board was to complete the remaining volumes in the same manner in which Novello had, using the same imitation red leather with gold blocking, so that when completed the complete edition would be uniform. Despite all the effort the Society put forth to ensure the volumes were ready for release it simply was not as commercially viable as they had hoped. Sales were very slow and new volumes were not produced as quickly as had been initially planned. Production ground to a halt as the complete edition was not something of great interest to commercial publishers. The decision was then made to bring all aspects of the collation and publishing of the volumes in house, with completion of the task occurring in 2007. The decision proved to be the correct one and two new volumes were produced that same year, with further volumes being produced at regular intervals since. By 2011 half of the volumes had been produced. Sales were on the increase and new fundraising efforts were put into play.


The Society still faces challenges getting all of the volumes of the complete edition as Novello still holds onto the ones that were published under their administration. Those particular volumes are falling out of print and in order to prevent that from happening, the Society needs to gain control of those volumes. While this challenge does present a problem that needs to be addressed the future of the Elgar Society Edition looks promising as the Society considers the development of an interactive, electronic version of Elgar’s complete edition. The aim of the electronic edition is to make Elgar’s music more readily accessible for children and enthusiasts of the great composer’s works. As always, the Society’s efforts towards the promotion and education of future generations about Sir Edward Elgar’s classical musical compositions are at the forefront of their decisions, and the completion of the complete edition is just yet another example of their dedication to ensuring the music of England’s greatest composer lives on.

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