Sir Edward Elgar, 1st Baronet, OM GCVO


Born: June 2, 1857 – Lower Broadheath, United Kingdom
Died: February 23, 1934 – Worcester, United Kingdom
Knighted: in 1904 for services to music by King Edward VII

 

A few facts about Sir Edward Elgar

 

  • Elgar was 42 before he was recognized as a major composer.  In 1899 his Enigma Variations brought him national and international success.  Each of the 14 variations reflects a personality trait or event in the life of someone close to the composer: his wife Alice, his publisher Augustus Jaeger, and other friends.
  • Eight years older than Elgar, Alice Roberts was the daughter of a wealthy, military family.  They were scandalized when she announced her intention to marry the son of a tradesman and a Roman Catholic. They disinherited her! When she became Lady Elgar their stance softened.
  • Alice became his business manager, social secretary, and critical sounding board when he was composing.  Elgar was devastated by her death and without her inspiration and prodding his output dwindled.
  • One of the first composers to recognize and embrace the new recording technology as early as 1914, he conducted acoustic recordings of his own works for HMV.  In 1925 he went into EMI’s new Abbey Road Studios and recorded his major works using the new electronic microphones.
  • In 1931 he premiered Nursery Suite during a recording session at Kingsway Hall.  It was dedicated to the five-year-old future Queen Elizabeth and her infant sister Princess Margert Rose.

 

Sir Edward conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in the Pomp and Circumstance #3 at the opening of HMV’s famous Abbey Road Studio.

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