THE annual celebration of the life and music of Worcestershire’s most famous composer has announced a series of inaugural events.

Organisers of The Elgar Festival – which will take place from Friday to Sunday, June 3-5 – has introduced a number of events taking place for the first time in its history.

The festival will include concerts for people living with dementia; these will take place in the Nora Parsons Dementia Meeting Centre, Wichenford and Leominster Priory.

The Elgar for Everyone Family Concert – which will take place at Bromsgrove School on Sunday, June 5, at 3.30pm – will bring together young musicians aged 5-21 alongside English Symphony Orchestra mentors.

Local singers – including members of the Elgar Chorale, Kidderminster Choral Society, Malvern Festival Chorus, Philomusica, Stourport Choral, Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir, and Worcester Festival Choral Society – will form the all-new Elgar Festival Chorus for a performance of Elgar’s powerful Spirit of England and conclude with his symphonic poem, In the South in the Jubilee Festival Gala Concert at Worcester Cathedral on Saturday, June 4 at 7.30pm.

The Young Composers competition will be announced and will take place at the 2023 festival.

The festival – which was launched in 2018 – was established by decree of Worcester City Council and is traditionally held on the weekend closest to Elgar’s birthday, June 2 1857.

This year’s festival will combine orchestral, chamber, vocal and choral concerts with exhibits and lectures to celebrate the life and music of Edward Elgar at various venues in Worcestershire.

Entitled Elgar for Everyone, the festival brings together an array of internationally renowned guest artists, placing the music of Worcester’s most famous son alongside that of his contemporaries and some of today’s leading composers and arrangers.

Kenneth Woods, artistic director, said : “Our aim is to bring the music of Elgar to everyone; and what better way to do this than continue to introduce extra added value initiatives.  We are delighted to announce these new additions and look forward to welcoming you all at what looks set to be our best ever Festival yet!”

Other highlights for 2022 include:

The yearly ‘Elgar’s Strings’ concert on Friday, June 3, at 7pm at Worcester’s Guildhall featuring the English String Orchestra in Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, and a new arrangement of his Nursery Suite, a work dedicated to the Queen and her sister, Princess Margaret.

A celebratory tea party with musical entertainment at The Royal Porcelain Works on Sunday, June 5, at 1pm.

Throughout the festival, The Guildhall in Worcester, will have an exhibition on display of Elgar memorabilia on loan from prestigious private collections.