THE annual celebration of the life and music of Worcestershire’s most famous composer has announced a series of inaugural events.
Organizers of the Elgar Festival – which will take place from Friday to Sunday, June 3-5 – have introduced a number of events taking place for the first time in its history.
The festival will include concerts for people with dementia; these will take place at Nora Parsons Dementia Meeting Centre, Wichenford and Leominster Priory.
The Elgar for Everyone Family Concert – taking place at Bromsgrove School on Sunday 5 June at 3.30pm – will bring together young musicians aged 5-21 alongside mentors from the English Symphony Orchestra.
Local singers – including members of the Elgar Chorale, Kidderminster Choral Society, Malvern Festival Chorus, Philomusica, Stourport Choral, Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir and Worcester Festival Choral Society – will form the brand new Elgar Festival Chorus for a performance of the mighty spirit of Elgar of England and will conclude with his symphonic poem, In the South in the Jubilee Festival Gala Concert at Worcester Cathedral on Saturday 4th June at 7.30pm.
The Young Composers competition will be announced and will take place during the 2023 festival.
The festival – which was launched in 2018 – was created by decree of Worcester City Council and is traditionally held on the weekend closest to Elgar’s birthday, June 2, 1857.
This year’s festival will combine orchestral, chamber, vocal and choral concerts with exhibitions and lectures to celebrate the life and music of Edward Elgar at various venues across Worcestershire.
Titled Elgar for Everyone, 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 greatest composers and arrangers.
Kenneth Woods, Artistic Director, said, “Our goal is to bring Elgar’s music to everyone; and what better way to do this than to continue to introduce initiatives with greater added value. We are thrilled to announce these new additions and look forward to welcoming you all to what is shaping up to be our best festival yet!”
Other highlights for 2022 include:
The annual ‘Elgar’s Strings’ concert on Friday 3 June at 7pm at Worcester’s Guildhall with the English String Orchestra performing Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, and a new arrangement of his Nursery Suite, a work dedicated to the Queen and her sister, the Princess Margaret.
A festive afternoon tea with musical entertainment at The Royal Porcelain Works on Sunday June 5 at 1 p.m.
Throughout the festival, Worcester’s Guildhall will feature an exhibition of Elgar memorabilia on loan from prestigious private collections.