Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer of musical theatre, the elder son of organist William Lloyd Webber and brother of the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. Lloyd Webber started composing at the age of six, and published his first piece at the age of nine.
Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success, with several musicals that have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards (and 40 nominations), three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe, and the Kennedy Center Honors in Several of his songs, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals. His company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London.
Lloyd Webber was born in Kensington, London, the son of Jean Hermione (née Johnstone; ), a violinist and pianist, and William Lloyd Webber ( ), a composer. His younger brother, Julian Lloyd Webber, is a renowned solo cellist. Lloyd Webber began writing his own music at a young age, writing his first published suite of six pieces at the age of nine. He also put on "productions" with Julian and his aunt Viola in his toy theatre (which he built at the suggestion of Viola). Later, he would be the owner of a number of West End theatres, including the Palace. His aunt Viola, an actress, took Lloyd Webber to see many of her shows and through the stage door into the world of the theatre. He also claims that he had originally set music to Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats at the age of fifteen. He married his first wife, Sarah Hugill, on 24 July 1972, and had two children, Imogen Lloyd Webber (born 31 March 1977) and Nicholas (born 2 July 1979). Lloyd Webber and Hugill were divorced 14 November 1983.
He married his second wife, singer/dancer Sarah Brightman, on 22 March 1984 in Hampshire. He cast Brightman in the lead role in his musical The Phantom of the Opera; they divorced 3 January 1990.
Madeleine Gurdon is his third wife, since they married on 9 February 1991 in Westminster, London. They have three children, all of whom were born in Westminster: Alastair Adam (born 3 May 1992), William Richard (born 24 August 1993), and Isabella Aurora (born 30 April 1996). Alastair and William attend Eton College. Madeleine became Lady Lloyd Webber in 1992 when her husband was knighted, and retained the same casual style when her husband was created a life peer in 1997 (she is now technically Lady Lloyd- Webber).
The Sunday Times Rich List 2006 ranked him the 87th- richest Briton with an estimated fortune of £700 million. His wealth increased to £750 million in 2007, but the publication ranked him 101st in He also owns much of Watership Down. Lloyd Webber is an art collector, with a passion for Victorian art. An exhibition of works from his collection was presented at the Royal Academy in 2003 under the title Pre- Raphaelite and Other Masters – The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection. He is also a devoted supporter of Leyton Orient Football Club. Politically, he has supported the UK's Conservative Party, allowing his song Take That Look Off Your Face to be used on a party promotional film seen by an estimated 1 million people in 80 cinemas before the 2005 UK General Election to accompany pictures of Prime Minister Tony Blair allegedly "smirking", the party said.
Webber's first major collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice was The Likes of Us, a musical based on the true story of Thomas John Barnardo. It was not performed, however, until as recently as 2005 when a production was staged at Lloyd Webber's Sydmonton Festival. Stylistically, The Likes of Us is fashioned after the Broadway musical of the '40s and '50s; it opens with a traditional overture comprising a medley of tunes from the show, and the score reflects some of Lloyd Webber's early influences, particularly Richard Rodgers, Frederick Loewe, and Lionel Bart. In this respect, it is markedly different from the composer's later work which tends to be either predominantly or wholly through-composed and closer in form to opera than to the Broadway musical.
Around this time, Rice and Lloyd Webber wrote a number of individual pop songs that were recorded as singles for record labels. Wes Sands, Ross Hannaman, Paul Raven, and Gary Bond are among the many artists to have recorded early Lloyd Webber/Rice tunes. A selection of these early recordings were re-released on the 5-CD compilation, Andrew Lloyd Webber: Now and Forever (2003). In 1968, Rice/Lloyd Webber were commissioned to write a piece for Colet Court which resulted in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a retelling of the biblical story of Joseph in which Lloyd Webber and Rice humorously pastiche a number of musical styles such as Calypso and country music. Joseph began life as a short cantata that gained some recognition on its second staging with a favourable review in The Times. For its subsequent performances, the show underwent a number of revisions by Rice/Lloyd Webber with the inclusion of additional songs that expanded it to a more substantial length. This culminated in a two-hour long production being staged in the West End on the back of the success of Jesus Christ Superstar.
In 1969 Rice/Lloyd Webber wrote a song for the Eurovision Song Contest called "Try It and See", which was not selected. The Demo version, sung by Rita Pavone (sounding remarkably like Lulu, for whom the song was written) is available on, 'Now and Forever' - The 5 CD box set. With rewritten lyrics it became "King Herod's Song" in their third musical, Jesus Christ Superstar (1970).
Lloyd Webber collaborated with Rice once again to write Evita (1976 in London/1979 in U.S.), a musical based on the life of Eva Perón. As with Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita was released first as a concept album and featured Julie Covington singing the part of Eva Peron. The song "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" became a hit single and the musical was staged at the Prince Edward Theatre in a production directed by Harold Prince and starring Elaine Paige in the title role.The first Eva Peron on Broadway in NYC was played by Patti LuPone. She won a Tony for the role, and after experienced growth of nodes on her vocal cords. Evita was a highly successful show that ran for ten years in the West End. It transferred to Broadway in Rice and Lloyd Webber parted ways soon after Evita. In 1978, Lloyd Webber embarked on a solo project, the "Variations", with his cellist brother Julian based on the 24th Caprice by Paganini, which reached number two in the pop album chart in the United Kingdom. The main theme is still used as the theme tune for ITV1's long-running South Bank Show.
Andrew Lloyd Webber embarked on his next project without a lyricist, turning instead to the poetry of T. S. Eliot. Cats (1981) was to become the longest running musical in London, where it ran for 21 years until it closed. On Broadway, Cats ran for eighteen years, a record which would ultimately be broken by another Lloyd Webber musical, The Phantom of the Opera.
Starlight Express (1984) was a commercial hit but received negative reviews from the critics. It enjoyed a record run in the West End, but ran for less than three years on Broadway. The show has also seen two tours of the US, as well as a three-year UK touring production, which will transfer to New Zealand later in The show also runs full-time in a custom-built theatre in Bochum, Germany, where it is has been running for twenty-one years to date.
Lloyd Webber wrote a Requiem Mass dedicated to his father, William, who had died in It premiered at St. Thomas Church in New York on 25 February Church music had been a part of the composer's upbringing and the composition was inspired by an article he had read about the plight of Cambodian orphans. Lloyd Webber had on a number of occasions written sacred music for the annual Sydmonton Festival. Lloyd Webber received a Grammy Award in 1986 for Requiem in the category of best classical composition. Pie Jesu from Requiem achieved a high placing on the UK pop charts.
In 1986, Lloyd Webber premiered his next musical, The Phantom of the Opera, inspired by the 1911 Gaston Leroux novel. He wrote the part of Christine for his then-wife, Sarah Brightman, who played the role in the original London and Broadway productions alongside Michael Crawford as the Phantom. The production was directed by Harold Prince, who had also earlier directed Evita. Charles Hart wrote the lyrics for Phantom with some additional material provided by Richard Stilgoe, and Lloyd Webber co-wrote the musical's book with Stilgoe. It became a hit and is still running in both the West End and on Broadway; in January 2006 it overtook Cats as the longest-running musical on Broadway.
Aspects of Love followed in 1989, a musical based on the story by David Garnett. The lyrics were by Don Black and Charles Hart and the original production was directed by Trevor Nunn. There was a noticeable shift of emphasis towards a quieter and more intimate theatrical experience; the staging and production values were less elaborate than Phantom of the Opera and Lloyd Webber chose to write for a smaller musical ensemble making the through composed score more akin to a chamber work. Aspects had a run of four years in London but closed after less than a year on Broadway. It has since gone on a tour of the UK, and is beginning to enjoy more acclaim than its original production. Lloyd Webber has gone on record saying that he feels that Aspects will be one of his works that stands the test of time and even going as far as to compare it to South Pacific.
Lloyd Webber produced a staging of The Sound of Music, which débuted November He made the controversial decision to choose an unknown to play leading lady Maria, who was found through the reality television show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, in which he was a judge. The winner of the show was Connie Fisher. There have been a number of film adaptations of Lloyd Webber's musicals: Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) was directed by Norman Jewison, Evita (1996) was directed by Alan Parker, and most recently The Phantom of the Opera was directed by Joel Schumacher (and co-produced by Lloyd Webber). Lloyd Webber produced Bombay Dreams with Indian composer A. R. Rahman in It was announced on 25 August 2006, on his personal website that his next project would be The Master and Margarita (however, Lloyd Webber has stated that the project will most likely be an opera rather than a musical).
In September 2006, Lloyd Webber was named to be a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors with Zubin Mehta, Dolly Parton, Steven Spielberg, and Smokey Robinson. He was recognised for his outstanding contribution to American performing arts. He attended the ceremony on 3 December 2006; it aired on 26 December On 11 February 2007, Lloyd Webber was featured as a guest judge on the reality television show Grease: You're the One that I Want! The contestants all sang "The Phantom of the Opera".
Lloyd Webber accepted the challenge of managing the UK's entry for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Moscow. In early 2009 a series, called Eurovision: Your Country Needs You, was broadcast to find a performer for a song that he would compose for the competition. Jade Ewen won the right to represent Britain, winning with It's My Time, by Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren. At the contest, Jade was accompanied on stage by Lloyd Webber, who played the piano during the performance. Great Britain finished 5th in the contest.
Lloyd Webber was knighted by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in In 1997, he was created a life peer as Baron Lloyd-Webber, of Sydmonton, in Hampshire (also by Elizabeth II). His title is hyphenated but his surname is not.
Academy Awards Best Original Song for "You Must Love Me" from Evita (award shared with Sir Tim Rice) Plus one nomination for Best Original Song: "Learn to Be Lonely" from the 2004 motion picture The Phantom of the Opera. Golden Globes Best Original Song for "You Must Love Me" from Evita (award shared with Sir Tim Rice) Plus one nomination for Best Original Song: "Learn to Be Lonely" from the 2004 motion picture The Phantom of the Opera.
Grammy Awards Best Cast Show Album for Evita Best Cast Show Album for Cats Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Composition for Requiem Tony Awards Best Musical for Evita Best Original Score for Evita (award shared with Tim Rice) Best Musical for Cats Best Original Score for Cats Best Musical for The Phantom of the Opera Best Musical for Sunset Boulevard Best Original Score for Sunset Boulevard
Plus 9 additional nominations 1988 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations for The Phantom of the Opera 7 Laurence Olivier Awards (including Special Award presented for his 60th birthday in 2008) Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for live theatre (1993) Kennedy Center Honors (2006) Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service (2008) 14 Ivor Novello Awards 2 International Emmy Awards American Songwriter's Hall of Fame