The annual celebration of the life and music of Worcestershire’s most famous composer has announced a series of inaugural events.
The Elgar Festival – which runs from Tuesday 30 May until Sunday 4 June this year – has introduced a number of events taking place for the first time in the festival’s history; these include:
- The festival’s first orchestral concert at Great Malvern Priory featuring music by Elgar, and Ian Venables’ Requiem.
- Inaugurating the ‘Featured Composer’ Michael Berkeley, in celebration of his 75th birthday. One of Britain’s most admired composers and broadcasters, Berkeley is the only professional musician in the House of Lords where he champions human rights, protection for young girls from exploitation and assault, and campaigns for the arts.
- Works by Berkeley’s father, Lennox Berkeley, and his godfather, Benjamin Britten.
- A second evening of Club Elgar, this time at the Royal Porcelain Works with Kenneth Woods leading the blues/rock/jazz trio, Blue Enigma.
- A performance of Elgar’s First Symphony at the Gala Concert.
The festival – which was launched in 2018 – was established by decree of Worcester City Council and is traditionally held on the weekend closest to Elgar’s birthday, 2 June 1857.
This year’s festival will combine orchestral, choral, and chamber concerts with late-night Club Elgar, exhibits and lectures to celebrate the life and music of Sir Edward Elgar at various venues in Worcestershire. Themed ‘We are the Music Makers’, the festival brings together an array of internationally renowned guest artists, placing the music of Worcester’s most famous son alongside that of his contemporaries and some of today’s leading composers and arrangers.
Kenneth Woods, Artistic Director of the Elgar Festival said : “Our aim is to bring the music of Elgar to everyone; and what better way to do this than continue to introduce extra added value initiatives. We are delighted to announce these new additions and look forward to welcoming you all to what looks set to be our best ever festival yet!”
Other highlights for 2023 include:
- At the heart of the festival is the Gala Concert by the English Symphony Orchestra and the Elgar Festival Chorus at Worcester Cathedral on Saturday 3 June at 7.30pm.
- The annual Elgar’s Strings by the English String Orchestra concert at Worcester Guildhall.
- Throughout the festival, The Guildhall in Worcester, will have an exhibition on display of Elgar memorabilia on loan from prestigious private collections.
- The Edward Elgar Conducting Masterclass, offering the conductors of the future to study Elgar’s music in depth in the city of his birth. Members of the public are invited to observe the classes and discover the secrets of this art form.
Since it began – lauded as ‘Critic’s Pick’ in both The Guardian and The Times – the festival has doubled in size and scale and championed Sir Edward to as wide an audience as possible.
For a full list of events, costs and booking information please follow the link below:Find out more
Image Caption: Great Malvern Priory is the venue for Elgar’s King Arthur Suite and Ian Venables’ Requiem on Thursday 1 June