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In 1841 William moved to Worcester, where he worked as a piano tuner and set up a shop selling sheet music and musical instruments.

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Years later, a profile in The Musical Times considered that his failure to get to Leipzig was fortunate for Elgar's musical development: "Thus the budding composer escaped the dogmatism of the schools." However, it was a disappointment to Elgar that on leaving school in 1872 he went not to Leipzig but to the office of a local solicitor as a clerk.

He did not find an office career congenial, and for fulfilment he turned not only to music but to literature, becoming a voracious reader.

2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire.

Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies.

She inspired him both musically and socially, but he struggled to achieve success until his forties, when after a series of moderately successful works his Enigma Variations (1899) became immediately popular in Britain and overseas.

He followed the Variations with a choral work, The Dream of Gerontius (1900), based on a Roman Catholic text that caused some disquiet in the Anglican establishment in Britain, but it became, and has remained, a core repertory work in Britain and elsewhere.

In 1882 he wrote, "I got pretty well dosed with Schumann (my ideal!

), Brahms, Rubinstein & Wagner, so had no cause to complain." Throughout his life, Elgar was often inspired by close women friends; Helen Weaver was succeeded by Mary Lygon, Dora Penny, Julia Worthington, Alice Stuart Wortley and finally Vera Hockman, who enlivened his old age.

Elgar said, "my first music was learnt in the Cathedral ...

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