On Air Now
Smooth Classics with Margherita Taylor 10pm - 1am
Cello player, advocate for music education, Leyton Orient supporter - find out more about Julian Lloyd Webber, player of his brother Andrew's Variations and so much more great music.
Born on 14 April 1951, Julian Lloyd Webber was born into a musical family. His father William was a composer and his mother Jean was a piano teacher. His older brother is the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. The young Julian went to school in London and took up learning the cello at an early age.
At the age of 16, Lloyd Webber won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. He went on to complete his studies with the renowned cellist Pierre Fournier in Geneva in 1973.
In September 1972, Lloyd Webber made his professional debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London when he gave the first London performance of the Cello Concerto by Sir Arthur Bliss, then Master of the Queen's Music. Bliss composed the concerto in 1970 at the age of 79 for the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
Throughout his 42-year career, Lloyd Webber premiered more than 50 new works, inspiring new compositions for cello from such composers as Malcolm Arnold (pictured) who wrote his 'Fantasy for Cello' and 'Cello Concerto' for the cellist.
Lloyd Webber's many recordings include his award-winning version of the Elgar Cello Concerto, conducted by the legendary Yehudi Menuhin. The performance has been acclaimed by some as the finest ever version of the work.
Lloyd Webber had the highest regard for the great cellist Jacqueline du Pre and admired her version of Elgar's Cello Concerto. He considers his performance, however, to be a significantly different interpretation of the work.
Julian Lloyd Webber pictured in 1983 with conductor Vernon Handley and Ursula Vaughan Williams, widow of the great composer. They worked together on a recording of Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Sussex Folk Tunes, which had been composed for Pablo Casals.
In 1985, Lloyd Webber brought out a CD and a book of hilarious anecdotes, both called 'Travels with my Cello'. His aim was to bring cello music to a new and widest possible audience.
In 1994, HRH The Prince of Wales presented Lloyd Webber with the Fellowship of the Royal College of Music, where the cellist had studied.
In February 1997, Lloyd Webber played at the Orangerie in Kensington Palace as part of the Stately Homes Music Festival. It was the first time the palace had hosted a public concert.
Lloyd Webber deeply admired the brilliant Mstislav Rostropovich. 'He was the only cellist I have ever seen who overcame technical hurdles in a way I could not explain,' said Lloyd Webber.
Julian Lloyd Webber pictured with young pianist Anya Alexeyev after their live performance on 16 February 1998 on Eamonn Holmes' breakfast show. It followed Lloyd Webber's public challenge to GMTV the previous week to broadcast more classical music.
In May 2001, Lloyd Webber was granted the first busker's licence on the London Underground. He was launching the scheme to award licences to approved buskers by playing a selection of Andrew Lloyd Webber's songs in Westminster station just after rush hour.
Julian Lloyd Webber was joined by Cherie Booth, wife of then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, at the launch of the Sargent's Practice -a-thon! at Morley College in London, 28 January 2002. The fund-raising initiative, organised by the Sargent Cancer Care for Children charity, saw 100,000 children brushing up on their music skills in aid of cancer care for young people.
In May 2004, Julian Lloyd Webber presented singer and Classic FM presenter Aled Jones with an award at the fifth annual 'Classical BRIT Awards' at the Royal Albert Hall.
Lloyd Webber married cellist Jiaxin Cheng in 2009. They have a daughter Jasmine born in 2011. The Lloyd Webbers recorded a successful album of duets together, A Tale of Two Cellos, released on the Naxos label in 2013.
Julian and Jiaxin performed with Andrew Lloyd Webber during the show 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing', at Her Majesty's Theatre in central London in February 2008. The charity event paid tribute to the life and achievements of vocal coach Ian Adam.
On 27 February 2010, Lloyd Webber joined in the Classical Relief for Haiti recording of 'The Prayer' with, among others, Natasha Marsh, Rhydian, and members of Bond.
Lloyd Webber performed during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
On 2 May 2014 in Great Malvern, Lloyd Webber gave his last ever performance after he was forced to stop playing because of a herniated disc in his neck.