Edward Elgar (1857-1934) is often described as the greatest English composer since Purcell. He was a late romantic, a brilliant orchestrator, and a genius for the noble and majestic melody.
He was born in Worcester, where his father ran a music shop and was organist at St George's Catholic Church. Edward soon became absorbed in the musical world of the Malvern hills, playing violin in local orchestras, teaching and conducting. Success as a composer did not come easily or early, but he was starting to make a name for himself in 1895 with his cantatas, and in 1899 his breakthrough arrived with his Enigma variations.
Elgar wrote several marches and other patriotic music, popular in England at the height of its empire. Words were written to fit part of Pomp and Circumstance march no 1, and it became the immensely popular anthem "Land of Hope and Glory", which is always played on the last night of the promenade concerts in the Royal Albert hall in London. Elgar was knighted in 1904.
Other major works include: 2 Symphonies, Pomp and Circumstance marches, Introduction and Allegro for String Orchestra, Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto.