Eward Elgar was a British composer, who stood on the forefront of the revival of English music around 1900. Many of his works have entered the international concert repertoire, although there are performed more often in Britain than elsewhere.
Although Elgar is often considered as a typically English composer, he has primarily been influenced by composers on the European continent. He was contemptuous of folk music and had little respect for English Renaissance and Baroque composers. Instead he was particularly inspired by Dvorák, Händel and Brahms, and the clarity of 19th-century French composers, which resonates through his orchestrations.
Elgar was autodidact, and learned to play the organ, violin and viola at an early age within the musical family in which he was brought up. He also composed and arranged music for various ensembles. He became somewhat well-known with his overture Froissart, but only gained international recognition after composing his Enigma Variations in 1899. Currently researchers are still trying to find out which melody Elgar has hidden within the variations.
Other famous works by Elgar are the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, the oratorio The Dream of Gerontinus and the Cello Concerto.