KEVIN Allen, who lives in Malvern, has done considerable research into Edward Elgar's life, and also the lives of people connected with him. One of Allen's current interests is that of the friends of Elgar portrayed in The Enigma Variations.

This talk concerned August Jaeger who featured as Nimrod, Number 9 of the Enigma characters.

Jaeger was a journalist and music critic writing for the Musical Times, and employed by the publishers Novellos. He felt that one of his missions in life was to help young composers - among others there were Coleridge-Taylor, Walford Davies, McEwen, Parker, and of course, Elgar.

Jaeger was at some disadvantage because he was totally uninhibited (because of his Continental background), unlike the typical English-man! His editors caused him much frustration, and made him furious when he enthused in his reviews, then they were cut!

As Elgar's publisher in the first place, their relationship developed into one of deep friendship.

Examples of music Jaeger had encouraged were played and extracts from correspondence were used to help to build up a study of the man. The closing music was Nimrod.