Julian Lloyd Webber

Julian Lloyd Webber (born 14 April 1951) is a British solo cellist, the principal of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the founder of the In Harmony programme.

Julian Lloyd Webber
Born (1951-04-14) 14 April 1951
Years active1971–present
  • Celia Ballantyne (1974–1989)[1]
  • Zohra Mahmoud Ghazi (1989–1998)
  • Kheira Bourahla (2001–2008)
  • Jiaxin Cheng (2009–)[2][3]

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: Wetherby School, Westminster Under School and University College School.[4] He then won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and completed his studies with Pierre Fournier in Geneva in 1973.[5]


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 conductors Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner, Georg Solti, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Andrew Davis and Esa-Pekka Salonen, pianists Clifford Curzon and Murray Perahia as well as Stéphane Grappelli, Elton John and Cleo Laine. He was described in The Strad as the "doyen of British cellists".[6]

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),[7] 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 / Gentle Dreams, Cello Moods, Cradle Song and English Idyll.[8]

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, 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 Glass' Orange Mountain label in September 2005.

Other 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.[9]

Demonstrating his involvement in music education,[10] 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.[11] 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[12] campaign against the implementation of the English Baccalaureate 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, and Richard Hickox.[13]

On 28 April 2014, Lloyd Webber announced his retirement from public performance as a cellist because of a herniated disc in his neck.[14] His final public performance as a cellist was on 2 May 2014 at the Festival 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 September 2014, the charity Live Music Now announced Lloyd Webber as its next public spokesman.[15]

In March 2015, he was announced as principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.[16] In September 2017, Birmingham Conservatoire was awarded a royal charter.

Honours and awards

Lloyd Webber received the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in 1998[17] and a Classic FM Red Award for outstanding services to music in 2005.[18] He won the Best British Classical Recording in 1986 at the Brit Awards for his recording of Elgar's Cello Concerto with Sir Yehudi Menuhin and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.[18] 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.[18]

He is vice president of the Delius Society and a patron of both Music in Hospitals and Children & the Arts.[18] He has been an ambassador for the Prince's Trust for more than thirty years and a patron of CLIC Sargent for more than 30 years.[18]

In September 2009 he joined the board of governors of the Southbank Centre.[19] He was the Foundling Museum's Handel Fellow for 2010. He was the only classical musician chosen to play at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.[18]

On 16 April 2014 Lloyd Webber received the Incorporated Society of Musicians Distinguished Musician Award.[20]

Personal life

Lloyd Webber is married to fellow cellist Jiaxin Cheng and the couple have one daughter, Jasmine Orienta.[21] Lloyd Webber also has one son, David, from his former marriage to Zohra Mahmoud Ghazi, an exiled Afghan princess and great-niece of the last king of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah.[22] He is a lifelong supporter of Leyton Orient football club.[23]


Cello and orchestra

Cello and piano

Solo cello




First performances

ComposerWorkFirst performance
Malcolm ArnoldFantasy for CelloWigmore Hall, London, December 1987
Malcolm ArnoldCello ConcertoRoyal Festival Hall, London, March 1989
Richard Rodney BennettDream Sequence for Cello and PianoWigmore Hall, London, December 1994
Frank BridgeScherzetto for Cello and PianoSnape Maltings, April 1979
Frank BridgeOration for Cello and Orchestra (1st public performance)Bromsgrove Festival, Worcestershire, April 1979
Gavin BryarsCello Concerto (Farewell to Philosophy)Barbican Centre, London, November 1995
Geoffrey BurgonSix Studies for Solo CelloPortsmouth Cathedral, June 1980
John DankworthFair Oak FusionFair Oak, Sussex, July 1979
Frederick DeliusRomance for Cello and PianoHelsinki Festival, Finland, June 1976
Edward ElgarRomance for Cello and PianoWigmore Hall, London, April 1985
Philip GlassCello ConcertoBeijing Festival, China, September 2001
Vladimír GodárBarcarolle for Cello, Strings, Harp and HarpsichordHellenic Centre, London, April 1994
Howard GoodallAnd the Bridge Is Love for Cello, Strings and HarpChipping Campden Festival, May 2008
Patrick HawesGloriette for Cello and PianoLeeds Castle, Kent, August 2008
Joseph Haydn (attrib.)Concerto in D, Hob. VIIb:4Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, November 1981
Christopher HeadingtonSerenade for Cello and StringsBanqueting House, London, January 1995
Karl JenkinsBenedictus for Cello, Choir and Orchestra from The Armed ManRoyal Albert Hall, London, April 2000
Philip LaneSoliloquy for Solo CelloWangford Festival, Suffolk, July 1972
Andrew Lloyd WebberVariationsSydmonton Festival, Newbury, July 1977
Andrew Lloyd WebberPhantasia (Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra)Izmir Festival, Turkey, July 2008
William Lloyd WebberNocturne for Cello and PianoPurcell Room, London, February 1995
James MacMillanCello Sonata No. 2Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, April 2001
Michael NymanConcerto for Cello and SaxophoneRoyal Festival Hall, London, March 1997
Joaquín RodrigoConcierto como un divertimentoRoyal Festival Hall, London, April 1982
Peter SkellernFive Love Songs for Cello, Piano, Vocals and Brass QuintetSalisbury International Arts Festival, September 1982
Arthur SullivanCello Concerto (orchestrated Mackerras)Barbican Centre, London, April 1986
Ralph Vaughan WilliamsFantasia on Sussex Folk Tunes for Cello and OrchestraThree Choirs Festival, Gloucester, August 1983
William WaltonTheme for a Prince for Solo CelloAdrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, October 1998
Eric WhitacreThe River Cam for cello and stringsRoyal Festival Hall, London, April 2011


  1. "English composer and impresario of musical theatre, Andrew Lloyd Webber (left)[sic] accompanies his brother, solo cellist and conductor, Julian Lloyd Webber, on his marriage to journalist, Celia Ballantyne, 1974", Getty image
  2. "Julian Lloyd Webber talks music and marriage" by Jasmine Gardiner, London Evening Standard, 20 March 2012; (erroneous) quote: "His first wedding was at age 18 to journalist Celia Ballantyne."
  3. "Julian Lloyd Webber is selling his Stradivarius after being forced to retire" by Graham Young, Birmingham Post, 29 January 2015; quote:"After marrying journalist Celia Ballantyne in 1974 ..."
  4. Yvonne Swann (9 July 2010). "Me and my school photo: Julian Lloyd Webber". Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  5. Letter from Pierre Fournier
  6. Andrew Mikolajski: The Strad, July 1984.
  7. Jerrold Northrop Moore: "Building a Library", BBC Music Magazine, September 1992.
  8. Alan Saunders: Gramophone, October 1993
  9. "Lloyd Webber gets underground vibe". BBC News. 14 May 2001. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  10. Laura Barnett (8 January 2014). "Julian Lloyd Webber, cellist – portrait of the artist". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  11. "Julian Lloyd Webber: We're heading down Venezuela way, at last". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  12. "Bacc for the Future campaign launched". Incorporated Society of Musicians. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  13. "Julian Lloyd Webber President of Elgar Society". Classic FM. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  14. Imogen Tilden (28 April 2014). "Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber announces retirement from performing". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  15. "Julian Lloyd Webber joins Live Music Now", 22 September 2014, Live Music Now
  16. "Julian Lloyd Webber Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire". Classic FM. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  17. "Previous Recipients of the Crystal Award" (PDF). weforum.org. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  18. "Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber – A Conversation with Bruce Duffie". 6 November 1995. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  19. "Board of Governors". Southbank Centre. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  20. "Julian Lloyd Webber receives the ISM's Distinguished Musician Award for services to music education". Incorporated Society of Musicians. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014.
  21. "Julian Lloyd Webber becomes father for second time at 60". Times of Malta, 16 June 2011
  22. "People: A cellist and a princess bride", Asbury Park Press, 23 June 1989, via Pakistan Times, July 1989, p. 30
  23. Tim Walker (16 June 2009). "Julian Lloyd Webber is to marry for a fourth time". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 14 April 2012.


  • Travels with My Cello, Julian Lloyd Webber, Pavilion Books, 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.
  • Short Sharp Shocks – A Masterclass of the Macabre, ed. Julian Lloyd Webber, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1990, ISBN 978-0-297-81147-3.
  • Song of the Birds. Sayings, Stories and Impressions of Pablo Casals, compiled, edited and with a foreword by Lloyd Webber, Robson Books, London (1985 . ISBN 0-86051-305-X
  • Numerous editions prepared for publication, including Arnold's Fantasy for Cello (Faber Music), Rodrigo's Concierto como un divertimento (Schott) and a series of editions for Faber Music's Young Cellists' Repertoire (books 1, 2 and 3), followed by two advanced volumes, Recital Repertoire for Cellists (books 1 and 2.)
  • Editions of the major cello repertoire, The Julian Lloyd Webber Performing Edition, Kevin Mayhew Ltd.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.