Edward Elgar (1857-1934) was born in the small village of Lower Broadheathan, England. He was the fourth of seven children. His father, William Henry Elgar, was an apprentice of a London music publisher, worked as a piano tuner and owned a shop selling music and musical instruments. Edward's mother also enjoyed the arts and encouraged Edward's musical development. Edward began composing at an early age and studied piano and violin. He gradually built up a reputation as a composer of mostly choral works. However, to this point his success was modest. His Enigma Variations, which premiered in 1899, changed everything. This large-scale work established Elgar as one of the leading British composers of his generation. Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstance Marches remain his most popular works.