Sir Edward William Elgar (1857-1934) was an English composer, whose best-known compositions include the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.
As a Roman Catholic, he always thought himself an outsider in the English musical circles but in his 40's, especially with the Enigma Variations, he was able to gain a reputation as one of the leading British composers of his time. Elgar was also one of the first composers who was interested in recording technology.
In early 1894, it was announced that the Duke of York, (later, King George V), would visit Worcester in April of that year. With short notice, Elgar produced a short ceremonial, but reverential, piece for performance at a service in Worcester Cathedral which the Duke was to attend. He called the work Sursum Corda, Latin for "Lift Up Your Hearts", which is a key component of the Eucharistic prayer in Christian liturgies.