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Elgar's 150th anniversary marked

2 June 07 21:33 GMT

Special performances have taken place to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of Britain's greatest composers, Sir Edward Elgar.

Elgar, who was born near Worcester, is famous for a string of symphonies and concertos, with Land of Hope and Glory among his best-known scores.

Julian Lloyd Webber performed his Cello Concerto at Worcester Cathedral and later at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Mr Lloyd Webber travelled between the two venues by helicopter.

It is the first time the world-renowned cellist, who is the brother of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, has performed at two separate locations with such restricted time constraints.

Before his performances he said: "We do not have a huge number of inspirational great composers and of them, Elgar is the greatest so it's an important anniversary for Britain.

"It's a huge challenge to play such an emotional piece twice in one day and in two different locations."

In Worcester, Mr Lloyd Webber was joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a special gala anniversary celebration.

Married pupil

Elsewhere, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performed Elgar's three oratorios at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Elgar, who was born in Broadheath, a village three miles from Worcester, was largely a self-taught composer, and is said to have studied music manuscripts in the countryside on his own as a boy.

He grew up surrounded by music - his father, a tradesman, owned a music shop and was a piano tuner.

Elgar, who also taught the violin and played the organ, married one of his pupils, Caroline Alice Roberts, in 1889.

He died in 1934 - the same year as two other English composers - Gustav Holst and Frederick Delius.

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