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  • Edward Elgar was self-taught as a composer, working first as an orchestral musician and as a violin teacher in Worcestershire.
  • Gained experience as an arranger and composer, establishing a reputation in the Midlands with a series of oratorios
  • Following success of Enigma Variations in 1899 his music was performed in London and throughout Europe.
  • Between 1900 and 1920 regarded internationally as the leading British composer
  • Influenced by Romantic composers such as Wagner, Brahms, Schumann, Liszt and Franck.
  • Music explores expressive potential of chromatic harmony and virtuoso orchestration
  • Originality lay largely in adoption of continental techniques, but he became viewed as a musical symbol of 'Englishness' and the Empire
  • The confident, ebullient manner of his ceremonial music is contrasted with a deeper and poetic vein, demonstrating the often painful insecurities of his period, class and religion

Works by Edward Elgar include:
Sea Pictures (1897-99) Song cycle for contralto and orchestra
Cockaigne (In London Town) (1900-01) Concert Overture
Pomp and Circumstance Marches (1901-30) for orchestra
Symphony No.3 Elgar's sketches elaborated by Anthony Payne (1997)

"Music is in the air - you simply take as much as you require!" — Edward Elgar

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