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Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948)

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  Summary  

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer of musical theatre.

Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre. Several of his musicals 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, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, fourteen Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006.

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" and "You Must Love Me" 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. Producers in several parts of the UK have staged productions, including national tours, of the Lloyd Webber musicals under licence from the Really Useful Group. Lloyd Webber also appeared in an episode of Little Britain.

  Biography  

 early life
Andrew Lloyd Webber was born in Kensington, London, the elder son of William Lloyd Webber (1914–1982), a composer, and Jean Hermione (née Johnstone; 1921–1993), a violinist and pianist. His younger brother, Julian Lloyd Webber, is a renowned solo cellist.

Lloyd Webber started writing his own music at a young age, a suite of six pieces at the age of nine. He also put on "productions" with Julian and his Aunt Viola in his toy theatre . Later, he would be the owner of a number of West End theatres, including the Palace. His aunt Viola, an actress, took him 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.

In 1965, Lloyd Webber was a Queen's Scholar at Westminster School and studied history for a term at Magdalen College, Oxford, although he abandoned the course in Winter 1965 to study at the Royal College of Music and pursue his interest in musical theatre.

 personal life
Lloyd Webber has married three times. First, he married Sarah Hugill on 24 July 1972, but they divorced on 14 November 1983. Together they had two children, a daughter and a son:
  • Imogen Lloyd Webber
  • Nicholas Lloyd Webber

He then married 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. This marriage did not produce any children, and they divorced on 3 January 1990.

Thirdly, he married Madeleine Gurdon in Westminster on 9 February 1991. They have three children, two sons and one daughter, all of whom were born in Westminster:

  • Alastair Adam Lloyd Webber
  • William Richard Lloyd Webber
  • Isabella Aurora Lloyd Webber .

The Sunday Times Rich List 2006 ranked him the 87th-richest man in Britain with an estimated fortune of £700 million. His wealth increased to £750 million in 2007, but the publication ranked him 101st in 2008. He lives at Sydmonton Court, near Kingsclere in Hampshire, and 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, Lloyd Webber 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. In 2009, he publicly criticised the Labour government's introduction of a new 50 per cent rate of income tax on Britain's top earners, claiming it would damage the country by encouraging talented people to leave.

In late 2009 Lloyd Webber had surgery for early-stage prostate cancer, but had to be readmitted to hospital with post-operative infection in November. In January 2010, he declared he was cancer-free.

As of March 2010, Lloyd Webber decided to sell Portrait of Angel Fernández de Soto by Pablo Picasso art to benefit the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. In 2006, he withdrew the painting from auction after a claim that the previous owner was forced to sell it under duress in Nazi Germany. An out-of-court settlement was reached, where the foundation retained ownership rights. On 23 June 2010, the painting was sold at auction for £34.7 million to an anonymous telephone bidder.

early years
Lloyd Webber's first collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice was The Likes of Us, a musical based on the true story of Thomas John Barnardo. Although composed in 1965, it was not publicly performed until 2005, when a production was staged at Lloyd Webber's Sydmonton Festival. In 2008, amateur rights were released via the National Operatic and Dramatic Association in association with the Really Useful Group. The first amateur performance was by a children's theatre group in Cornwall called "Kidz R Us". 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 .

In 1968, Rice and Lloyd Webber were commissioned to write a piece for the Colet Court preparatory school 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 Elvis-style rock'n'roll, 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, Rice and Lloyd Webber revised the show and added new songs to expand 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 and 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 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 .

The planned follow up to Jesus Christ Superstar was a musical comedy based on the Jeeves and Wooster novels by P. G. Wodehouse. Tim Rice was uncertain about this venture, partly because of his concern that he might not be able to do justice to the novels that he and Lloyd Webber so admired. After doing some initial work on the lyrics, he pulled out of the project and Lloyd Webber subsequently wrote the musical with Alan Ayckbourn who provided the book and lyrics. Jeeves failed to make any impact at the box office and closed after a short run of only three weeks. Many years later, Lloyd Webber and Ayckbourn revisited this project, producing a thoroughly reworked and more successful version entitled By Jeeves . Only two of the songs from the original production remained ("Half a Moment" and "Banjo Boy").

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  Played movies  

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  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
The Phantom of the Opera 04:37 1989
Starlight Express 05:02 1989
Memory 04:26 1989
Superstar 03:56 1989
Masquerade 04:12 1989
Pie Jesu 03:58 1989
Gus: The Theatre Cat 05:10 1989
I Don't Know How to Love Him 03:56 1989
Don't Cry for Me, Argentina 04:02 1989
Another Suitcase in Another Hall 03:18 1989
All I Ask of You 04:05 1989
The Music of the Night 05:12 1989
Take That Look Off Your Face 03:56 1989
Tell Me on a Sunday 03:30 1989
This Jesus Must Die 03:36 1970
Everything's Alright 05:15 1970
What's the Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying 04:13 1970
Heaven on Their Minds 04:23 1970
Overture 03:59 1970

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Andrew Lloyd Webber", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.