‘It’s ludicrous that the government doesn’t understand the importance of music’ – Andrew Lloyd Webber

13 June 2018, 23:39 | Updated: 19 June 2018, 16:50

By Elizabeth Davis

The famous composer took aim at the government’s education policy as he picked up a Special Recognition Award at the Classic BRITs

Lord Lloyd Webber used his acceptance speech at last night’s Classic BRIT Awards in London’s Royal Albert Hall to launch a blistering attack on policies that have seen the amount of music being taught in schools decrease over recent years.

In a rousing speech he said: “It is vital that we keep music in our schools. It is absolutely ludicrous that that government does not understand… because it’s not about turning children necessarily into musicians, it’s about empowering them in all sorts of different ways.

See all the highlights from an unforgettable night >

“And also it teaches them to be all-round human beings at a time when it’s really important that we celebrate not just the individual but what they collectively put in. Music is the empowering force.

“Everything we can do to put music in our schools, we must do.”

On a personal note, Lord Lloyd Webber said that if the nearby Royal College of Music had not been free when he was younger, his life may have looked very different: “I might not be standing here now.”

Lord Lloyd Webber was presented with the Special Recognition Award by Dame Shirley Bassey at a star-studded ceremony in central London. Read the full list of winners here.