Our Composer of the Month for November is Edward Elgar. Elgar's music is used in movies but you have most likely heard his most popular piece at graduation ceremonies.
Elgar was born June 2, 1857 in Lower Broadheath, Worchester, England. At age 8 he took both piano and violin lessons. Elgar composed at an early age, writing music for a play written by his siblings when he was 10 years old. This piece was reimagined much later into an orchestra suite called "The Wand of Youth".
Elgar played with various community orchestras in England and in Europe. At age 32 he married Caroline Alice Roberts and they had one daughter. Caroline acted as his manager and musical critique until her death in 1920. Together they were part of the English arts scene, listening to modern music at the Crystal Palace whenever they could.
Until Elgar was 42 his music did not receive much attention when he wrote the Enigma Variations. His most popular music is the Pomp and Circumstances Marches which were written between 1901 and 1930.
Elgar's work began to fall out of favour with the British public after WWI even though he continued to publish. He died on February 23, 1934.
His most popular piece is Pomp and Circumstance March 1.
An interesting fact about Elgar is that he was largely self taught and often felt like a fraud.
The Musical Era he composed in was the Modern Era.