Successful Elgar Festival continues to pay homage to Malvern and Worcester's famed composer - The Worcester Observer

Successful Elgar Festival continues to pay homage to Malvern and Worcester's famed composer

Worcester Editorial 13th Jun, 2024   0

THIS YEAR’S Elgar Festival has been hailed as the ‘best event yet’ as the faithful city continues to pay homage to its famed local born composer.

The festival returned across May and June with a ‘joyful’ week of concerts, conversations, events and exhibitions celebrating the life and music of Britain’s greatest composer – Sir Edward Elgar who was born in Lower Broadheath and spent many years playing, composing and teaching music in Worcester.

Themed ‘The Origins of Inspiration’, this year’s festival brought together an array of internationally renowned guest artists. The full breadth of Elgar’s work was showcased, including songs, miniatures, partsongs, choral anthems alongside his most beloved orchestral masterpieces.

The Gala Concert, the heart of the festival, was regarded as the biggest highlight. It was performed by the English Symphony Orchestra and featuring composer Steve Elcock, violinist Zoë Beyers and soprano April Fredrick.

Other highlights included The annual Elgar’s Strings by the English String Orchestra, late night Club Elgar concerts and a free exhibition Elgar memorabilia on loan from prestigious private collections.

The Festival also welcomed internationally renowned cellist, educator, and festival Patron, Julian Lloyd Webber, who had a close personal connection with the Elgar Cello Concerto for his entire professional career.

Internationally recognised violinist, Esther Abrami – considered one of the most promising young classical artists of her generation – performed at one of the festival’s two late night Club Elgar events showcasng her latest album Cinema.

Another Club Elgar event saw festival director, Kenneth Woods explore his great love of blues guitar. Accompanied by his regular bandmates and UK blues singer, Alex Voysey, the concert reimagined Elgar’s themes into a journey through blues history.

Artistic Director Kenneth Woods said: “Elgar was a tireless champion of the contemporary music of his own time, and the festival honours his legacy by supporting living composers in as many ways as possible.

“We are delighted this year’s Festival was so well received.”

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, June 2 1857.

Adrian Gregson, chair of the festival added: “We would like to say a very big thank you to all the performers and support teams.”


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