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Legendary cellist Julian Lloyd Webber has been forced to stop playing the cello due to a slipped disc in his neck, it has been announced.
The cellist has suffered a herniated disc in his neck which has dramatically reduced the power to his right arm.
Lloyd Webber will perform his final concert at the Forum Theatre, Malvern, on the 2nd of May with the English Chamber Orchestra.
He commented in a press release: "I am devastated. There were so many exciting plans that cannot now come to fruition. I have had an immensely fulfilling career and feel privileged to have worked with so many great musicians and orchestras but now I have to move on."
The cellist remained positive about the future, however, and outlined plans to continue in education: "I would like to use the knowledge I have gained through my life as a musician and an educator to give back as much as I can to the music profession which has given me so much over the years."
He continued: "I have just completed two new recordings which will be released later this year but after 2 May my cello will fall silent."
"I now need time to reflect and to consider this sudden and distressing life-changing situation and there will be no further comment at this time."
He tweeted moments after the announcement was made:
Today is a sad, sad day for me which I hoped I would never see. But I have had to make the decision to stop playing the cello and move on.— Julian Lloyd Webber (@JLloydWebber) April 28, 2014
Classic FM's David Mellor, a friend of the cellist, gave his personal reaction to the news and suggested that a new career running one of the country's major music colleges would be a suitable new focus for his talents.
The news comes a week after he was awarded the Distinguished Musician Award from the Incorporated Society of Musicians.