RPS Elgar Bursary

How the celebrated English composer continues to help today's counterparts

Edward Elgar enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the Royal Philharmonic Society. In 1997, composer Anthony Payne famously created a 'completion' of the sketches Elgar made for his Third Symphony which has proceeded to enjoy a life of its own in concerts. Elgar's family decided that the royalties from consequent performances of this should come to the RPS and be put towards its ongoing work supporting composers. In particular, their wish was that such funds go towards commissioning occasional works that are 'Elgarian' in spirit and outlook, by established composers who have sought to push musical boundaries whilst ensuring a spirit of accessibility, as Elgar himself did. Beneficiaries to date of the Elgar Bursary are detailed here.

During and following the pandemic, performances of the Third Symphony have been very limited but, with a very kind gift to the fund in Anthony and his wife Jane Manning's Will, we look forward to setting in motion some new commissions embodying the spirit of Elgar soon. Plans for these we are devising with approval from Elgar's living descendants.


The RPS has a long tradition of supporting composers, dating back to Beethoven. We are only able to keep helping composers thanks to a generous family of individual donors, trusts and corporate sponsors, and initiatives such as the RPS Elgar Bursary Fund. If you would like to help us to bring more new music to life, please do contact us on admin@philharmonicsociety.uk.

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