West Midlands

It is generally agreed that the Elgar Society began its life in Worcester and Malvern in 1951 and the West Midlands Branch has continued to flourish since then. We have a membership of approximately 180, second only to London. We are also fortunate in being the ‘home’ Branch of the Elgar Birthplace with which we maintain a close relationship. In common with other Branches of the Society, we hold a regular program of talks and recitals.

In addition to our events program, we also publish a twice-yearly Newsletter which is distributed to members by post or email depending on their preference. We feel that this is an excellent way of communicating with our membership, especially to those who find it difficult to travel.

At present, all the talks listed below, with the exception of the Allen/Parsons recital and the 3Choirs Festival event will take place at Holy Trinity Church Hall at 1 North Malvern Road, Malvern, WR14 4LR. This has been chosen because of its excellent facilities and ample room for social distancing. Members and non-members of the Elgar Society are most welcome.

Directions: When coming from Great Malvern turn off the A.449 (Great Malvern – Worcester road) at the traffic lights for Leigh Sinton B.4503 and West Malvern and there are several parking areas near the Church and Church Hall.

Branch Contact

Richard Smith
24 Crown Lea Avenue
WR14 2DP

Telephone: 01684 438358

west.midlands@elgarsociety.org or richard.smith8631@gmail.com

Programme for 2022 – 2023

Saturday, 22 July 2023, 12.30 pm - David Owen Norris - "Improvising Elgar" (Elgar Society lecture at the Three Choirs Festival)

There will be few Elgarians who are unfamiliar with the work of the pianist and lecturer David Owen Norris. For the Elgar Society lecture at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester this year David will be recreating with piano examples some of Elgar’s historical improvisations, and will speak about creating new ones. The venue will be the Chapter House, Gloucester Cathedral. All ticket enquiries from the Three Choirs office on 01452 768928 or visit info@3choirs.org (There will not be a Elgar Society lunch at the Three Choirs this year)

Saturday, 9 September 2023, 2.30 pm - Anne Dudley - Re-painting the Mona Lisa"

Re-orchestrating Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance” for the Last Night of the Proms 2020″. Anne Dudley is a multi-talented and critically acclaimed musician. Her talk will examine the challenges in reducing the orchestration of the March for the much smaller orchestra that played in the Last Night of the Proms. She hopes to expand it into a more general look at Elgar’s skill as an orchestrator.

Saturday, 14 October 2023, 2.30 pm - Arthur Reynolds - "Elgar and John Singer Sargent"

Everyone knows that John Singer Sargent was a brilliant painter. What not many people know is that Sargent was also a brilliant musician.  What he was not good at was keeping letters addressed to him.  Acting as his own secretary, Sargent routinely discarded letters he received, such that there are countless letters FROM Sargent – mostly declining dinner party invitations- but few that a dozen surviving letters TO him.  One of these is a letter from Elgar, now in Arthur’s possession.  Why did Sargent elect to keep that particular letter?  The answer is the subject of Arthur’s talk.

Saturday, 11 November 2023 - Ken Crump - “Elgar’s time at Powick Mental Hospital”

Elgar’s first money earning musical job was at Powick Mental Hospital between 1879 and 1884. when he composed and conducted music for regular dances held there. Ken, who was a nurse at the hospital for many years, has researched this time and will illustrate his talk with photos and music.

Saturday, 2 December 2023 - 2.30 pm - Sam Dobson - "Sir Malcolm Sargent

Sam Dobson, former Sectary of the East Midlands Branch and now coordinating the Elgar Society Zoom meetings, will talk on the early career of Sir Malcom Sargent.