Julian Lloyd Webber

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Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber.jpg
Background information
Born (1951-04-14) 14 April 1951 (age 63)
Genres classical
Occupations cellist
Instruments cello
Years active 1971–present day

Julian Lloyd Webber (born 14 April 1951) is a British solo cellist who has been described as the "doyen of British cellists".[1]

Early years[edit]

Julian Lloyd Webber is the second son of the composer William Lloyd Webber and his wife Jean Johnstone (a piano teacher). He is the younger brother of the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.


Lloyd Webber was educated at three schools in London: at Wetherby School, a pre-prep school in South Kensington , followed by Westminster Under School, and University College School, a day school for boys in Finchley Road.[2] He then won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, and completed his studies with Pierre Fournier in Geneva in 1973.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Lloyd Webber made his professional debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London in September 1972 when he gave the first London performance of the Cello Concerto by Sir Arthur Bliss.[4]


Lloyd Webber has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians, including Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner, Georg Solti and Esa-Pekka Salonen as well as Stéphane Grappelli, Elton John and Cleo Laine.

Lloyd Webber in 2013

Lloyd Webber has made many recordings, including his BRIT Award winning Elgar Cello Concerto conducted by Yehudi Menuhin (chosen as the finest ever version by BBC Music Magazine),[5] the Dvořák Cello Concerto with Václav Neumann and the Czech Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the London Symphony Orchestra under Maxim Shostakovich and a coupling of Britten's Cello Symphony and Walton's Cello Concerto with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, which was described by Gramophone magazine as "beyond any rival". He has also recorded several CDs of short pieces for Universal Classics including Made in England, Cello Moods, Cradle Song and English Idyll: "It would be difficult to find better performances of this kind of repertoire anywhere on records of today or yesterday or tomorrow" - Gramophone.[6]

Lloyd Webber has given more than 50 works their premiere recordings and has inspired new compositions for cello from composers as diverse as Malcolm Arnold (Fantasy for Cello, 1986, and Cello Concerto, 1989), Joaquín Rodrigo (Concierto como un divertimento, 1982) James MacMillan (Cello Sonata No. 2, 2001), and Philip Glass (Cello Concerto, 2001). Recent concert performances have included four further works composed for Julian - Michael Nyman's Double Concerto for Cello and Saxophone on BBC Television, Gavin Bryars's Concerto in Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Philip Glass's Cello Concerto at the Beijing International Festival and Eric Whitacre's The River Cam at the Southbank Centre. His recording of the Glass concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Gerard Schwarz was released on the Orange Mountain label in September 2005.

Lloyd Webber's more recent recordings include The Art of Julian Lloyd Webber (2011), Evening Songs (2012) and A Tale of Two Cellos (2013).


Lloyd Webber plays the Barjansky Stradivarius cello, dated c.1690.[7]


Lloyd Webber is also greatly involved in music education and formed the "Music Education Consortium" with James Galway and Evelyn Glennie in 2003. On 21 November 2007, the UK government announced an infusion of £332 million for music education which resulted from successful lobbying by the Consortium.[8] In 2008, the British Government invited Lloyd Webber to be Chairman of its In Harmony programme which is based on the Venezuelan social programme El Sistema.[9] The government- commissioned Henley Review of Music Education (2011) reported that “there is no doubt that they (the In Harmony projects) have delivered life-changing experiences”. In July 2011 maestro José Antonio Abreu, the founder of El Sistema in Venezuela, recognised In Harmony as part of the El Sistema worldwide network. In November 2011 the British government announced it would roll out In Harmony across England by extending funding from the Department for Education and adding funding from Arts Council England from 2012 to 2015. Lloyd Webber now Chairs the charity Sistema England.

Lloyd Webber received the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in 1998 and a Classic FM Red Award for outstanding services to music in 2005. He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 1994 and has received honorary doctorates from both the University of Hull and Thames Valley University.

In May 2001, he was granted the first busker's licence on the London Underground.[10]

In May 2009, Lloyd Webber was elected President of the Elgar Society in succession to Sir Adrian Boult, Lord Menuhin (who conducted his Brit Award winning recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto) and Richard Hickox.[11]

He is also a Vice President of the Delius Society and Patron of Music in Hospitals. He has been an ambassador for the Prince's Trust for more than twenty years and a Patron of CLIC Sargent for more than thirty years.

In September 2009 he joined the Board of Governors of the Southbank Centre.[12] He was the Foundling Museum's Handel Fellow for 2010. He is known to be a lifelong supporter of Leyton Orient football club. Lloyd Webber was the only classical musician chosen to play at the Closing Ceremony of Olympics 2012. The composer Herbert Howells was his godfather.

Personal life[edit]

Lloyd Webber has been married four times. He married his first wife, Celia Ballantyne, a journalist, in 1974. His second marriage in 1989 to Zohra Mahmoud Ghazi, a great niece of the Afghan King Zahir Shah, produced one son, David (born 1992, Hammersmith, London).[13] His third marriage was to the French-Algerian Kheira Bourahla. He married fellow cellist Jiaxin Cheng in 2009.[14] and they have one daughter, Jasmine Orienta, who was born on June 14, 2011.


Cello and orchestra recordings[edit]

Cello and piano recordings[edit]



First performances by Lloyd Webber[edit]

Composer Work First Performance
Malcolm Arnold Fantasy for Cello Wigmore Hall, London, December 1987
Malcolm Arnold Cello Concerto Royal Festival Hall, London, March 1989
Richard Rodney Bennett Dream Sequence for Cello and Piano Wigmore Hall, London, December 1994
Frank Bridge Scherzetto for Cello and Piano Snape Maltings, April 1979
Frank Bridge Oration for Cello and Orchestra (1st public performance) Bromsgrove Festival, Worcestershire, April 1979
Gavin Bryars Cello Concerto (Farewell to Philosophy) Barbican Centre, London, November 1995
Geoffrey Burgon Six Studies for Solo Cello St. Thomas Cathedral, Portsmouth, June 1980
John Dankworth Fair Oak Fusion Fair Oak, Sussex, July 1979
Frederick Delius Romance for Cello and Piano Helsinki Festival, Finland, June 1976
Edward Elgar Romance for Cello and Piano Wigmore Hall, London, April 1985
Philip Glass Cello Concerto Beijing Festival, China, September 2001
Vladimir Godar Barcarolle for Cello, Strings, Harp and Harpsichord Hellenic Centre, London, April 1994
Howard Goodall The Bridge is Love for Cello, Strings and Harp Chipping Campden Festival, May 2008
Patrick Hawes Gloriette for Cello and Piano Leeds Castle, Kent, August 2008
Joseph Haydn(attrib.) Concerto in D, Hob. VIIb:4 Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, November 1981
Christopher Headington Serenade for Cello and Strings Banqueting House, London, January 1995
Karl Jenkins Benedictus for Cello, Choir and Orchestra from 'The Armed Man' Royal Albert Hall, London, April 2000
Philip Lane Soliloquy for Solo Cello Wangford Festival, Suffolk, July 1972
Andrew Lloyd Webber Variations Sydmonton Festival, Newbury, July 1977
Andrew Lloyd Webber Phantasia (Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra) Izmir Festival, Turkey, July 2008
William Lloyd Webber Nocturne for Cello and Piano Purcell Room, London, February 1995
James MacMillan Cello Sonata No.2 Queens Hall, Edinburgh, April 2001
Michael Nyman Concerto for Cello and Saxophone Royal Festival Hall, London, March 1997
Joaquín Rodrigo Concierto como un divertimento Royal Festival Hall, London, April 1982
Peter Skellern Five Love Songs for Cello, Piano, Vocals and Brass Quintet Salisbury International Arts Festival, September 1982
Arthur Sullivan Cello Concerto (orchestrated Mackerras) Barbican Centre, London, April 1986
Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Sussex Folk Tunes for Cello and Orchestra Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester, August 1983
William Walton Theme for a Prince for Solo Cello Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, October 1998
Eric Whitacre The River Cam for cello and strings Royal Festival Hall, London, April 2011
Douglas Young Virages for Solo Cello Purcell Room, London, September 1974


  1. ^ Andrew Mikolajski: The Strad, July 1984
  2. ^ My studies suffered when the cello took my life Author: Yvonne Swann. Publisher: Daily Mail. Published: 9 July 2010. Retrieved: 27 December 2013.
  3. ^ September 1968 to July 1972
  4. ^ Bliss Concerto Premiere Reviews
  5. ^ Dr. Jerrold Northrop Moore: "Building a Library", BBC Music Magazine, September 1992
  6. ^ Alan Saunders: Gramophone, October 1993
  7. ^ "Barjansky Stradivari Violoncello". Julianlloydwebber.com. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  8. ^ "Julian Lloyd Webber: We're heading down Venezuela way, at last". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "MUSIC | Lloyd Webber gets underground vibe". BBC News. 2001-05-14. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  11. ^ "Julian Lloyd Webber President of Elgar Society - Julian Lloyd Webber News". Classicfm.com. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  12. ^ "Board of Governors". Southbank Centre. 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  13. ^ Births England and Wales 1837-2006
  14. ^ Tim Walker 10:45PM BST 16 Jun 2009 (2009-06-16). "Julian Lloyd Webber is to marry for a fourth time". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Travels with My Cello, Julian Lloyd Webber, Pavilion Books Limited, London (1984). ISBN 0-907516-27-0
  • Julian Lloyd Webber: Married to Music. The Authorised Biography, Margaret Campbell, Robson Books, London (2001). ISBN 1-86105-400-9.
  • Song of the Birds. Sayings, Stories and Impressions of Pablo Casals, Compiled, Edited and with a Foreword by Julian Lloyd Webber, Robson Books, London (1985). ISBN 0-86051-305-X

External links[edit]