Sir Edward Elgar was is British composer and orchestra conductor and a key figure of the English romantic music of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Edward Elgar’s influence on British composers is undeniable, such as Holst, Tippett and Britten.
As a primarily self-taught composer (introduced to music by his father), Edward Elgar was not limited to one genre in particular: his musical work is composed of symphonies and concertos (Concerto for cello in E minor op.85), music for chorus, cantatas and oratorios (The Dream of Gerontius), ballets (The Sanguine Fan), chamber music (Salut d'Amour) but also keyboard and organ music (Sonata for organ op.28).
Although much appreciated during his career for his quasi- "chauvinistic" English music, Elgar still felt detached, culturally and musically, from contemporary English society: his lack of conservatory musical training (and strong European musical influence rather than British), his Roman Catholic faith, as well as his middle-class origins, meant that Elgar did not reach fame until his fortieth birthday. Recognized today mainly for his melodic features, his music is part of the musical canon. Today, Edward Elgar is considered to be a pillar of English music.
Five key dates for Edward Elgar:
1877: first theory lessons, organ and violin
1899: composed the Enigma Variations
1904: ennobled at Buckingham Palace
1911: received the Order of Merit
1926: The first composer to record his own work using the brand-new microphone
Five masterpieces by Edward Elgar:
1899: Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma), Op. 36
1899-1900: The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38
1901-1930: Pomp and Circumstance, Op. 39
1913: Falstaff, symphonic study, Op. 68
1918-1919: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85