English Symphony Orchestra


Enigma is the title of an ESO Educational Project which will climax in Worcester Cathedral on Saturday 17th October 2009. It will involve 300 musicians and singers from Primary Schools and Secondary Schools from around the county, who will perform alongside a professional orchestra in a celebration of Sir Edward Elgar.

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  • Arts/Culture/HeritageArts/Culture/Heritage
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



The aim of this project is to create an experience that participants will not forget and will want to repeat. We will achieve this by being inclusive and involving everyone in the performance – including the audience. The hope is that these musicians will be so overwhelmed by the joys of the occasion that it will encourage them to stick with music and provide the next generation of both players and audience. At the heart of the Worcester project is Edward Elgar, and in particular the Engima Variations, portraits of his circle of family and friends. We hope that through Enigma all participants will come away with a greater appreciation of Elgar and thus their own cultural heritage. Some will be encouraged to sketch their own friends in music and helped to orchestrate for performance by ESO on the day. The event will finish with a performance of the original variations by the ESO. The educational element of this project, which involves return visits by a composer and musicians to the schools involved, will cost £20,000, and the concert itself £25,000 all inclusive.