Edward Elgar

1857-1934

Edward Elgar Artistfacts

  • Sir Edward Elgar was born in Broadheath, Worcestershire. His father owned a shop there that sold sheet music and musical instruments.
  • Apart from having violin lessons Elgar was self-taught. He studied the printed music in his father’s shop and often traveled with him when he went on his rounds to tune pianos.
  • When Elgar was 29, he took on a pupil, Caroline Alice Roberts, a published author of verse and prose fiction. Alice became his wife three years later. From then until her death she acted as his business manager and social secretary,
  • As an engagement present, Elgar dedicated his short violin and piano piece "Salut d'Amour" to Alice.
  • Elgar wrote three oratorios, one of which, The Dream of Gerontius, is considered by many to be his greatest work. His resume also includes two symphonies, a violin concerto, a cello concerto, an Allegro for Strings, and chamber music.
  • Elgar's most popular piece is the first of his five Pomp and Circumstance marches. It contains the tune which is sung to the words "Land Of Hope and Glory” and the audience always join in singing it at the Last Night of the Proms. Also American high school and college students often march down the aisles of auditoriums to the song during their graduation ceremony.
  • The composer was a keen race-goer, but a lousy gambler. When Elgar turned up at his local Worcester race course, the bookies rubbed their hands with glee as he never seemed to be able to back the winner.
  • Elgar enjoyed football, supporting Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. He composed an anthem in honor of their forward, Billy Malpass, "He Banged The Leather For Goal."
  • Elgar was the first composer to take the gramophone seriously. Between 1914 and 1925, he conducted a series of acoustic recordings of his works for His Master's Voice (HMV). (Source The Encyclopedia of Trivia).

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