A four-day Worcestershire music festival, headlined by world-leading classical musician Raphael Wallfisch, is to celebrate Britain’s greatest composer, Sir Edward Elgar from the 30th of May to the 2nd of June, 2019.
On the Friday evening enjoy Elgar for Everyone Family Concert in Rogers Theatre at Malvern College. Music from and for Elgarians of all ages in this concert featuring members of the English Symphony Orchestra, the ESO Youth Orchestras and friends in a programme including the BBC Ten Pieces version of Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
At the heart of this summer’s Elgar Festival is the Cello Concerto, performed by the renowned artist in a gala concert at Worcester Cathedral to mark the centenary of the composer’s last masterwork.
And with the theme Elgar for Everyone, organisers are determined to engage people of all ages and walks of life in the legacy and music of Worcester’s greatest son. A jam-packed programme of activities includes the chance to play one of the great man’s own pianos.
Inaugurated last year as a two-day event and immediately gaining Critic’s Pick status with The Guardian and The Times, 2019’s festival has now expanded to four days, reflecting the bid to champion Sir Edward to as wide an audience as possible.
For Raphael Wallfisch the festival’s ethos couldn’t be better demonstrated than through the Cello Concerto, which was conceived during the dark years of the First World War as (he) Elgar recuperated from an operation. However it was initially a flop.
“Elgar was to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra and the young British cellist Felix Salmond but the rest of the programme at the Queen’s Hall that October 1919 was conducted by, Albert Coates, who was in fact my wife’s grandfather,” says Wallfisch. “Coates took the bulk of the rehearsal time, and a mere 30 minutes were left for the concerto.
“The performance was not good and the orchestra unprepared. The public and critics were puzzled and unsure about the new work and Salmond never played it again.
Alongside this busy programme are educational workshops, talks, poetry readings, a new version of the Elgar Trail, a Cello Day for families and young people and an Elgar for Everyone Family Concert at Rogers Theatre in Malvern College.
“Every once in a while, we need to step back from a very popular work like the Cello Concerto and remind ourselves of why it resonates so deeply with so many millions of listeners. We want the 2019 Elgar Festival to create the conditions whereby even the most jaded Elgar fan can hear this most personal work with fresh ears,” says Elgar Festival Artistic Director Kenneth Woods.”
For a complete listing of events and booking information, go to www.elgarfestival.org or visit the event’s Facebook page.
Download the 2019 Elgar Festival 2019 Programme 2019 Elgar Festival Programme!