Elgar’s city links revealed

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Schools pupils in Norfolk are being offered the chance to learn about one of England's greatest composers – and his links to Norwich.

Martin Bird, a world expert on Sir Edward Elgar, will head to the county for a performance of the composer's celebrated work, The Apostles, by the Norwich Philharmonic.

Tomorrow, ahead of this weekend's concert, he will meet some of the county's schoolchildren and give them a chance to see, touch and even smell a selection of Elgar memorabilia, including diary excerpts and letters.


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Hansells solicitors, which will host the visit at their Tombland base in Norwich, is inviting schools to put forward students for a 30 to 40 minute interactive session with Mr Bird.

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Roger Holden, managing partner, said: 'We are delighted to be able to bring Martin, the world Elgar expert, to Norwich and to be able to give this experience to some of the county's children.

'Edward Elgar was a great friend of Norfolk solicitor Walter Hansell, one of our partners, and he was also a client of the firm. Elgar met Walter at the triennial Norwich Music Festival in 1905. Their friendship is recorded in the Elgar diaries.'

The talk will be split in two with younger pupils invited along from 2.15pm and older students from 3.15pm. Youngsters will hear parts of Elgar's The Apostles and read excerpts from his diary, see a copy of the composer's mother's scrapbook and a letter from Elgar to his daughter, Carice, while she was at boarding school.

Saturday's performance of The Apostles is thought to be the first time it will have been seen live in Norfolk since 1984 – the last time Norwich Philharmonic tackled the composition. The concert, by a 70-piece orchestra and 120-strong choir, will take place at St Andrew's Hall, beginning at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £5 to £16 and available from Prelude Records, St Giles', by calling 01603 628319 or on the door.

Teachers who would like their pupils to take part should contact Dawn Towns at Hansells on 01603 751922 or email dawntowns@hansells.co.uk.

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