Yorkshire & North East

Yorkshire and North East Branch

Y & NE



Branch Contact
Paul Grafton
Fair Winds
Parsons Green
LS22 6RQ

Telephone: 01937 583723



We meet on designated Saturdays from 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Our next meeting is on Saturday 28th September 2019 (see below)

The Bedingfield Room
The Bar Convent
17-19 Blossom Street
YO24 1AQ

The Bar Convent

Admission is free; a charge of £3 is made for (optional) refreshments.

To find the Bar Convent: The historically significant and architecturally notable Bar Convent is a five-minute walk from York Railway Station; at the station exit turn right onto Queen Street, follow the road round to the traffic lights, cross the road, turn right and the Bar Convent is immediately on your left. Park and ride buses from Askham Bar (White Line, No 3 service) stop outside the Everyman cinema; this is across the road from our venue. There is a pay-and-display car park close to the Bar Convent on Nunnery Lane – SATNAV YO23 1AA.




28           SEPTEMBER                       Daniel Grimley                                   Unfolding Elgar’s Sanguine Fan

Elgar’s 1917 ballet The Sanguine Fan, is one of his most delightful but neglected scores.  In this talk, Daniel will argue that the Sanguine Fan in fact constituted a means of mediating the processes of mourning, memorialisation and loss that lay at the heart of Elgar’s creative project during wartime. Daniel is a Professor of Music at the University of Oxford, and Douglas Algar Tutorial fellow at Merton College


26           OCTOBER                    Jonathan Wainwright                     Gerontius with MS notes on Elgar

A first-edition vocal score of The Dream of Gerontius (Novello, 1900) which once belonged to Elgar’s early biographer Robert J. Buckley, contains numerous, previously unnoticed, annotations in the hand of Edward Elgar himself. Jonathan will examine the significance of some of Elgar’s notes and annotations.

Jo Wainwright is Professor of Music at the University of York. He is a musicologist, conductor and performer.

23         NOVEMBER                           Andrew Neill                                      Elgar’s Celtic Heroes

Andrew has been writing up CD notes on Grania and Diarmid as well as a forthcoming recording of Caractacus, and offers to share with us some of the highlights of his researches.

Andrew is a Vice-President  of the Elgar Society, a member of its London Branch and a past Chairman of the Society ( 1992-2008) and has contributed to four books on Elgar’ life and music.


Programme of meetings for 2020

The Bar Convent, Blossom Street, York, the venue for the Yorkshire & North East Branch meetings

25 January, 2.00 pm (Commencing with the AGM)          DAVID YOUNG          Reading The Music Makers

After reading the poem, the score, and press reviews, one is left wondering why Elgar’s The Music Makers at first met such a muted response. With extended musical examples.

Dr David Young is Chairman of the Yorkshire & North East Branch of the Elgar Society.

28 March, 2.00 pm          MICHAEL ALLIS          ‘A really true-hearted artist & broad-minded man’: Elgarian issues in selected letters of Granville Bantock.

Letters of the British composer Granville Bantock to the Scottish composer William Wallace and the music critic Ernest Newman provide fascinating insights into the musical establishment of the time, musical journalism, and Bantock’s ranking of Elgar amongst the composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Michael Allis is Professor of Musicology at the University of Leeds.

25 April, 2.00 pm          THE FAIRFAX ENSEMBLE          Elgar and His Very Independent Legacy

A welcome return for the ensemble that includes Josephine Peach (piano), Amanda Crawley (soprano) and Edwina Smith (flute).

Of all composers since the end of the 19th century Elgar was one of the most independent, imaginative and instinctive. As will be discussed and illustrated, his style left quite a mark on British music.

23 May, 2.00 pm          CHRISTOPHER WILTSHIRE          Elgar as Remembered in Radio Interviews by Those who Knew Him

In this sequel to his fascinating talk in 2018, Christopher will share with us his unique collection of recordings of conversations with people who knew Elgar. His talk is illustrated with a series of edited audio clips together with images and music.

Dr Christopher Wiltshire, a retired oncologist and psychotherapist, is Secretary of the East Anglian Branch of the Elgar Society.

27 June, 2.00 pm          STUART FREED          The Lighter Side of Elgar

In common with many of the great composers, Elgar wrote numerous light or ‘salon’ pieces. Stuart explores Elgar’s lighter fare, examining how the pieces came to be composed, where they fit into the wider canon and how they have continued to maintain their popularity.

Stuart Freed is Vice-Chairman of the Elgar Society.

26 September, 2.00 pm          STEVEN HALLS          Elgar’s Chamber Music: From the Shed to the World

An illustrated examination of Elgar’s chamber music, showing how crucial these mostly early works were in Elgar’s development and finishing with the autumnal

Brinkwells music.

Dr Steven Halls is past Chairman of the Elgar Society. He chairs the Elgar Complete Edition, and

Elgar Works, a charitable organization which provides practical support for performances.



31 October, 2.00 pm          JACQUELINE EDWARDS          England’s Britannia: Dame Clara Butt

As mezzo soprano and pianist Jacqueline discusses and illustrates the life and career of the celebrated Edwardian contralto Dame Clara Butt, for whom Elgar composed

Sea Pictures and who will ever be associated with ‘Land of Hope and Glory.’

A descendant of Dame Clara, Jacqueline Edwards is a concert and opera singer and also performs in a series of one-woman cabarets.

28 November, 2.00 pm          BERNARD PORTER          Elgar, the North, and King Olaf

One of Elgar’s early choral masterpieces, Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf was based on one of the Norse Sagas by Snorri Sturlasson, but via Longfellow’s

poem. Bernard will introduce these literary sources and discuss the attraction of the subject to Elgar. Emeritus Professor Bernard Porter is an academic historian and committee member of our Branch of the Elgar Society.


Previous Meetings of Our Branch


On November 24th 2018 Dr Donald Hunt was to address the Yorkshire and North East branch meeting. Sadly that was not to be but he had given Caroline Gilderdale a copy of the script which he had prepared; it was read for us by Dr Simon Lindley. Caroline Gilderdale is seen here (left) conducting an ensemble comprising singers from the Yorkshire Bach Choir and York Cantores, performing a selection of Elgar’s church music, edited by Donald Hunt. Simon Lindley (right) accompanies.

Elgar had great respect and admiration for Hubert Parry – and publicly acknowledged the debt that he, in particular, and English music in general, owed to Parry.  The violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck has recently recorded a triple-disc set of Parry’s complete music for violin and piano, and is also currently editing all Elgar’s violin music. From this perspective, on Saturday March 23rd, he gave a talk to the Yorkshire and North East branch which described and demonstrated the two composers’ writing for violin; also revealing what their musical notations for the instrument can tell us of contemporary playing styles and characteristics.





Our meeting on Saturday May 4th featured live music performed by the Fairfax Ensemble.

Photo collage by Caroline Gilderdale.

Our meeting on Saturday 25 May featured  Jonathan Clinch who spoke on Elgar and Herbert Howells. Edward Elgar was one of the greatest influences on the young Herbert Howells and played an important practical role in his early career. Howells in turn dedicated the middle movement of his Concerto for String Orchestra of 1938 jointly to the memory of Elgar and Howells’ son Michael. Jonathan offered new insights into the nature of their relationship. Dr Jonathan Clinch is an organist, musicologist and Lecturer in Academic Studies at The Royal Academy of Music.


On Saturday 15th June  Rev. John Knowles spoke on  Elgar, Liverpool and Malcolm Sargent. John investigated the early links between Liverpool and Elgar and between Sargent and Elgar, as an introduction to Sargent’s Elgar performances with Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. John is presently the Chairman of the North West Branch of the Elgar Society.


Upcoming Performances of Elgar’s Music in Yorkshire and the North East

Saturday November 9th: Harrogate Royal Hall, 7.30

The Spirit Of England

The Music Makers

Sea Pictures

Harrogate Choral Society

The Amici Ensemble
Samantha Hay, Soprano
Gaynor Keeble, Mezzo Soprano
Andrew Padmore, Conductor

​Tickets for this concert are priced at £15 or £20 with £5 tickets available for students and IBA under 16s free when accompanied by an adult
Tickets will be on sale from 1st July from The Harrogate Box Office: ​Tel 01423 502116 (opening hours 10am to 5pm Mon to Sat)


Saturday 23rd November 2019: Leeds Town Hall, 7.30pm

The Kingdom

Leeds Philharmonic Chorus

Cambridge University Symphony Chorus

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Carolyn Sampson, Soprano

Jane Irwin, Mezzo Soprano

Ed Lyon, Tenor

Gareth Brynmor John, Baritone

David Hill, Conductor

Tickets £18 – £7 (discounts available) from Leeds City Centre Box Office (0113 376 0318 or boxoffice@leeds.gov.uk)


Saturday 30th November 2019: Ely Cathedral, 8.00pm

The Kingdom

Leeds Philharmonic Chorus

Cambridge University Symphony Chorus

Orpheus Sinfonia

Mary Bevan, Soprano

Jane Irwin, Mezzo Soprano

Ed Lyon, Tenor

Gareth Brynmor John, Baritone

David Hill, Conductor

Tickets £20 – £40 from: elycathedral.org/events


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