Edward Elgar

Fun Facts

  • Elgar's father had a music shop, worked as a piano tuner, and was an accomplished violinist and organist.

  • After hearing leading virtuosi at London concerts, Elgar felt his own violin playing lacked a full enough tone, and he abandoned his ambitions to be a soloist.

  • Elgar struggled in his early years as a composer; it wasn't until he was in his forties that he achieved popularity and acclaim.

  • Elgar became the first British composer of international reputation since Henry Purcell.

  • The trio from Elgar's first Pomp and Circumstance March is one of the most widely performed pieces in the world and has become synonymous with graduations.

  • Elgar's wife, Alice, was disinherited for marrying him, but their marriage was a happy one.  She acted as his business manager and social secretary, dealt with his mood swings, and was a perceptive musical critic.

  • One of Elgar's most popular works, the Enigma Variations, is also his most mysterious. Each of the fourteen variations has a cryptic subtitle that related to a particular person in Elgar's life.

  • Elgar enjoyed cycling, drives around the countryside, horse races, and football matches.

  • Over 60 roads in the United Kingdom are named in honor of Elgar.

  • Elgar was knighted at Buckingham Palace.

  • In his sixties, Elgar took a voyage to Brazil, where he embarked on a cruise of the Amazon.

  • Elgar died of cancer at the age of 76.

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Fun Facts

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