Edward Elgar (1857-1934) rose from humble beginnings to become the most famous English composer of his generation. The son of a Worcester shopkeeper and piano tuner, Elgar was largely self-taught as a composer. Determined to make a career in music, he moved to London in 1889 but returned to the West Midlands in 1890 following a commission from the Worcester Festival (for which he wrote Froissart). He settled in Malvern, near Worcester, where he remained for the rest of his life. His most celebrated works include the Enigma Variations, Cello Concerto and Violin Concerto. He made a strong contribution to the English choral tradition with The Dream of Gerontius. Land of Hope and Glory, adapted from his Pomp and Circumstance March No 1, is one of his most enduring works and holds its place as England’s unofficial national anthem. Elgar received a knighthood in 1904 and a baronetcy in 1931.
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