East Anglian Branch

East Anglia


Branch Contact

Dr Christopher Wiltshire
11 Burlington Road

Telephone: 01473 254940

Branch programme 2017–2018 — Location map — Previous seasons 

The East Anglian Branch of the Elgar Society meets on Saturday afternoons, seven or eight times per year, for illustrated talks by musicians, writers and Elgarian experts. There is no charge for admission, but donations are welcomed towards the running costs of the branch. Visitors and potential new members are always welcome; if you like the music of Elgar why not pay us a visit? Meetings are held in the Edmund Room (formerly the Lecture Room) at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in the centre of Bury St Edmunds, centrally located within East Anglia and with good transport links. From the main entrance on Angel Hill go down the steps, through the cloister and through the doorway on the right to find the staircase and lift up to the Edmund Room. Occasionally meetings are held instead in the Discovery Centre, adjacent to the Edmund Room at the top of the stairs.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral from the Abbey Gardens
St Edmundsbury Cathedral from the Abbey Gardens


To view or download an A4 PDF brochure (2.2MB) containing the 2017–2018 programme for the East Anglian Branch, please click on the thumbnail image:

East Anglian Branch brochure 2017-2018

Saturday 9 September 2017, 2.30 p.m.
Professor Raymond Holden
Richard Strauss in London
Richard Strauss (1864–1949) and Elgar admired each other’s music: Strauss hailed Elgar as ‘the first English progressivist’ and, to Elgar, Strauss was ‘the greatest genius of our days’􏰀 Strauss came to London very regularly for fifty years and, eighty years ago, gave his last professional concert at the Royal Albert Hall.􏰀 Professor Holden, an authority on Strauss and conductors of the period, follows his last entertaining talk to the branch, The orchestra in Elgar’s time, with an examination of Strauss’s time in London.􏰀
Saturday 21 October 2017, 2.30 p.m.
Peter Avis
Impressions of Dame Ethel Smyth
Peter Avis makes a return visit to recount the remarkable life and work of perhaps England’s foremost female composer and a close contemporary of Elgar, Dame Ethel Smyth.􏰀 Her involvement with the women’s suffrage movement, whose anthem was her March of the Women, and for which she was imprisoned for two months in Holloway, has somewhat eclipsed her wide corpus of music, including two important English operas, The Wreckers and The Boatswain’s Mate.􏰀
Saturday 24 February 2018, 2.30 p.m.
Peter Worrell
John Barbirolli, Elgar and the Hallé
Preceded by the branch A.G.M. at 2.00
Elgar’s music has been central to the work of both the Hallé Orchestra and its great Principal Conductor, Sir John Barbirolli.􏰀 Peter Worrell, who played second violin in the Hallé for forty-three years, from Barbirolli’s time through to the era of the present Musical Director, Sir Mark Elder, visits to talk about this great partnership.􏰀
Saturday 7 April 2018, 2.30 p.m.
Valerie Langfield
Roger Quilter: The man, the music, and how the songs were sung
Roger Quilter (1877–1953) was one of England’s foremost composers of songs, but his orchestral and piano music—and his East Anglian connections—are less well known.􏰀 We are fortunate that the singers who first popularised his music lived in the age of the gramophone. 􏰀Valerie Langfield, composer, pianist and expert on English music, is Quilter’s biographer; here she examines his life and work with the help of contemporary recordings.􏰀
Saturday 5 May 2018, 2.30 p.m.
Roger Wright
A life with British music
Roger Wright is Chief Executive of Snape Maltings, and in his BBC career served as Senior Producer of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Head of Classical Music, Controller of Radio 3 and, from 2007 to 2014, Director of the BBC Proms.􏰀 He joins us to talk about his time with these organisations at the heart of British music-making.􏰀
Saturday 9 June 2018, 2.30 p.m.
Richard Westwood-Brookes
The true Soul of Elgar’s Violin Concerto
Richard Westwood-Brookes is an avid collector of Elgar’s manuscripts and letters who visits to examine the mysterious inscription at the beginning of Elgar’s Violin Concerto which my be translated as ‘Herein is enshrined the soul of . . .􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀’ Elgar admitted that the ‘soul’ was female and many writers since have agreed about her identity, but Richard’s conclusion is different and involves a fascinating journey through the evidence.􏰀
Saturday 7 July 2018, 2.30 p.m.
Steven Halls
Elgar’s orchestral miniatures
Although best known for his large-scale orchestral works—symphonies, concertos, concert overtures, oratorios and cantatas—from his earliest career to a few months before his death Elgar composed a large number of shorter works.􏰀 Steven Halls, Chairman of the Elgar Society, returns to talk about these not-always-appreciated works which reveal so much of the composer’s personality.􏰀


Click on this small map of Bury St Edmunds, centred on St Edmundsbury Cathedral, to open the full-size map, suitable for printing, in a new window:

Thumbnail map of Bury St Edmunds
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

Alternatively, click here to view a Google map showing the cathedral, station and car parks.


For details of the past activities of the branch since it was re-founded in 2011, plick on these thumbnail images to open PDF brochures for past seasons:

East Anglian Branch brochure 2016-2017 Elgar & Vaughan Williams Day flyer East Anglian Branch brochure 2015-2016 East Anglian Branch brochure 2014-2015 East Anglian Branch brochure 2013-2014 East Anglian Branch brochure 2012-2013 East Anglian Branch brochure 2011-2012

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