Julian Lloyd Webber

Julian Lloyd Webber
Background information
Born (1951-04-14) 14 April 1951
Genres classical
Instruments Cello
Years active 1971–present

Julian Lloyd Webber (born 14 April 1951) is a British cellist, conductor and the principal of the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Early years and education

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. The composer Herbert Howells was his godfather. 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.[1] He then won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and completed his studies with Pierre Fournier in Geneva in 1973. [2]


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. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians, including Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner, Georg Solti, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Sir Andrew Davis and Esa-Pekka Salonen as well as Stéphane Grappelli, Elton John and Cleo Laine. He was described in The Strad as the "doyen of British cellists".[3]

Lloyd Webber in 2013

His many recordings include his BRIT Award winning Elgar Cello Concerto conducted by Yehudi Menuhin (chosen as the finest ever version by BBC Music Magazine),[4] 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. Several CDs are of short pieces for Universal Classics including Made in England, Cello Moods, Cradle Song and English Idyll.[5]

Lloyd Webber premiered the recordings of more than 50 works, inspiring 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). More recent concert performances have included four further works composed for Lloyd webber – 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.

Recent recordings include The Art of Julian Lloyd Webber (2011), Evening Songs (2012) A Tale of Two Cellos (2013) Vivaldi Concertos for Two Cellos (2014) and his debut recording as a conductor of English music for strings 'And the Bridge is Love' (2015).

In May 2001, he was granted the first busker's licence on the London Underground.[6]

Demonstrating his involvement in music education,[7] he formed the "Music Education Consortium" with James Galway and Evelyn Glennie in 2003. As a result of successful lobbying by the Consortium, on 21 November 2007, the UK government announced an infusion of £332 million for music education.[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. The government- commissioned Henley Review of Music Education (2011) reported, "There is no doubt that they (the in Harmony projects) have delivered life-changing experiences." In July 2011 the founder of El Sistema in Venezuela, José Antonio Abreu, recognised In Harmony as part of the El Sistema worldwide network. Further, in November 2011 the British government announced additional support for 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. In October 2012 he led the Incorporated Society of Musicians[9] campaign against the implementation of the EBacc which proposed to remove Arts subjects from the core curriculum. In February 2013 the Government withdrew its plans.

Lloyd Webber has represented the music education sector on programmes such as BBC1's Question Time, The Andrew Marr Show, BBC2's Newsnight and BBC Radio 4's Today, The World at One, PM, Front Row and The World Tonight.

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.[10]

In April 2014, Lloyd Webber was awarded the Incorporated Society of Musicians' Distinguished Musician Award (DMA) at their annual conference. In September 2014, the charity Live Music Now announced Lloyd Webber as its next public spokesman.

On 28 April 2014, he announced his retirement from public performance as a cellist because of a herniated disc in his neck.[11] His final public performance as a cellist was on 2 May 2014 at the Forum Theatre, Malvern, with the English Chamber Orchestra when he played the Barjansky Stradivarius cello (dated c. 1690) which he had played for more than thirty years.

In March 2015, he was announced as principal of the Birmingham Conservatoire.[12]

Honours and awards

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 won the 'Best British Classical Recording' in 1986 at the Brit Awards for his recording of Cello Concerto (Elgar) with Sir Yehudi Menuhin and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 1994 and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Hull, Plymouth University and Thames Valley University.

He is 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 30 years.

In September 2009 he joined the board of governors of the Southbank Centre.[13] He was the Foundling Museum's Handel Fellow for 2010. He was the only classical musician chosen to play at the Closing Ceremony of Olympics 2012.

On 16 April 2014 Lloyd Webber received the Incorporated Society of Musicians Distinguished Musician Award.[14]

Personal life

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 child, David (born 1992, Hammersmith, London). His third marriage was to French-Algerian Kheira Bourahla. He married fellow cellist Jiaxin Cheng in 2009[15] and they have one child, Jasmine Orienta, who was born on 14 June 2011. He is a lifelong supporter of Leyton Orient football club.


Cello and orchestra recordings

Cello and piano recordings

Solo cello recordings



Conducting recording

First performances by Lloyd Webber

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 And 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. My studies suffered when the cello took my life Author: Yvonne Swann. Publisher: Daily Mail. Published: 9 July 2010. Retrieved: 27 December 2013.
  2. Letter from Pierre Fournier
  3. Andrew Mikolajski: The Strad, July 1984.
  4. Jerrold Northrop Moore: "Building a Library", BBC Music Magazine, September 1992.
  5. Alan Saunders: Gramophone, October 1993
  6. "MUSIC | Lloyd Webber gets underground vibe". BBC News. 14 May 2001. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
  7. Laura Barnett (2014-01-08). "Julian Lloyd Webber, cellist – portrait of the artist". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
  8. "Julian Lloyd Webber: We're heading down Venezuela way, at last". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
  9. http://www.ism.org/news/article/bacc_for_the_future_launched
  10. "Julian Lloyd Webber President of Elgar Society – Julian Lloyd Webber News". Classicfm.com. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
  11. Imogen Tilden (2014-04-28). "Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber announces retirement from performing". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
  12. "Julian Lloyd Webber Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire". Classicfm.com. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-18.
  13. "Board of Governors". Southbank Centre. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  14. "Julian Lloyd Webber receives the ISM's Distinguished Musician Award for services to music education". ISM.
  15. Tim Walker 16 Jun 2009 (16 June 2009). "Julian Lloyd Webber is to marry for a fourth time". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-04-14.


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