Music blog

17 October 2019

Upcoming Elgar events at the British Library

We are holding two events in November to celebrate Elgar’s music and the rich collections of his works at the Library.

On Friday 8 November there will be an evening concert with pianist Iain Farrington, featuring works by Elgar that are represented in the Library’s collection, throwing light on the composer’s creative process and unearthing some surprises! 

To find out more details and to book a place please visit the British Library website here:

On Monday 25 November there will be a study day focussing on the sources of Elgar’s works.

Photograph of Edward Elgar composing music at his desk
Edward Elgar. Photo by May Grafton

Elgar’s sources, ranging from manuscript sketches and scores, printed music, letters and recordings, reveal important information about his compositional practices and the origin of some of his most famous works, such as the Enigma variations, his concertos, symphonies, and oratorios. They also tell us important stories about his personal and professional life, his close family relationships and friendships, as well as his remarkable personality. Speakers specialising in the music of Elgar and Music curators will discuss his compositional practices and aspects of his life and reception.


10.00-10.20: Registration 

10.20-10.30: Welcome and Introduction to the day – Richard Chesser (Head of Music, British Library)

10.30-11.15: Keynote – Julian Rushton (Professor Emeritus, University of Leeds)

11.15-11.45: The Elgar Birthplace Museum – Michael Messenger

11.45-12.00: Comfort break 

12.00-12.45: The Elgar Sources: an overview – Professor Dan Grimley (University of Oxford)

12.45-14.00 – Lunch [not provided]

14.00-14.40: Elgar recordings – Jonathan Summers (British Library)

14.40-15.30: Discoveries in Elgar Sources – Speakers: John Norris, David Lloyd-Jones

15.30-15.50: Comfort break 

15.50-16.30: Biographical Issues in Elgar Scholarship – Chair: Dr Jo Bullivant (University of Oxford)

Speakers: Jo Bullivant, Dr Sophie Fuller (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance), Dr Nalini Ghuman (Mills College), Julian Rushton

16.30-17.00: Future plans on the Elgar sources at the British Library – Richard Chesser and Chris Scobie (British Library)

To book a place please visit the British Library website here:

We hope to see you there!



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