Andrew Lloyd Webber: legendary musical theatre composer

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Musical theatre composer

Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Lord Lloyd-Webber was on born March 22, 1948, and is an English composer, theatre owner and impresario of musical theatre.

Andrew Lloyd Webber was born in Kensington, London, England, the son of Jean Hermione, a violinist and pianist, and William Lloyd Webber, a composer. He started composing at the age of six, and published his first piece at the age of nine.

Following his childhood dream of becoming England’s chief inspector of ancient monuments, in 1965, Lloyd Webber entered Westminster School as a Queen’s Scholar and began a course in history at Magdalen College, Oxford. However, his true calling pulled him in another direction, and he dropped out in the winter of 1965 to study at the Royal College of Music and explore his interest in musical theatre.

That same year, when he was 17 years old, Lloyd Webber received a letter from 21-year-old law student Tim Rice. Lloyd Webber found something in that letter that interested him, and thus began the long collaboration of Rice and Lloyd Webber.

Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success, and has been referred to as “the most commercially successful composer in history.” Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. 

He has composed many 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. He is an EGOT winner with 7 Tony Awards, 3 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, 14 Ivor Novello Awards, 7 Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Kennedy Center Honor in 2006 and the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre

Many 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.

Andrew Lloyd Webber was commissioned to write and record the anthem for England’s first coronation ceremony in 70 year’s for the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla. It was titled ‘Make a Joyful Noise’.

He owns 6 London theaters, including the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Cambridge Theatre, Adelphi Theatre (co-owned with Nederlander), the Gillian Lynne Theatre, His Majesty’s Theatre and the London Palladium and his company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London. Producers have staged productions, including international tours, of Lloyd Webber’s musicals under license from the Really Useful Group.

Lloyd Webber has been married three times and has five children. His younger brother, Julian Lloyd Webber, is a renowned solo cellist. His success has made him one of the richest individuals in Great Britain, with his wealth exceeding the $1 billion mark. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Musicals

  • THE LIKES OF US (1965): Lyrics by Tim Rice. Not produced until 2005
  • JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (1970): Lyrics by Tim Rice
  • JEEVES (1975): Lyrics by Alan Ayckbourn. Revised in 1996 as BY JEEVES
  • EVITA (1976): Lyrics by Tim Rice
  • TELL ME ON A SUNDAY (1979): Lyrics by Don Black
  • CATS (1981): Lyrics based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. Additional lyrics after Eliot by Richard Stilgoe and Trevor Nunn
  • SONG AND DANCE (1982): Lyrics by Don Black (revised by Richard Maltby, Jr. for Broadway). Combination of VARIATIONS (1978) and TELL ME ON A SUNDAY (1979)
  • STARLIGHT EXPRESS (1984): Lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Later revisions by Don Black and David Yazbek. Inspired by the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends books by The Rev. W. Awdry.
  • CRICKET (1986): Lyrics by Tim Rice.  First performed for Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th birthday
  • THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1986): Lyrics by Charles Hart.  Additional Lyrics by Richard Stilgoe.  Based on the Gaston Leroux novel
  • ASPECTS OF LOVE (1989): Lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart.  Based on the David Garnett novel
  • SUNSET BOULEVARD (1993): Book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton and Don Black.  Based on the Billy Wilder film (1950)
  • WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND (1996): Lyrics by Jim Steinman
  • THE BEAUTIFUL GAME (2000): Lyrics by Ben Elton.  Updated as THE BOYS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH (2009)
  • THE WOMAN IN WHITE (2004): Lyrics by David Zippel.  Based on the Wilkie Collins novel
  • LOVE NEVER DIES (2010): Book & Lyrics by Glenn Slater.  Book by Ben Elton & Frederick Forsyth.  Additional lyrics by Charles Hart
  • THE WIZARD OF OZ (2011): Book by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Jeremy Sams, Music by Harold Arlen, Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, Additional music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Additional lyrics by Tim Rice. Based on the 1939 motion picture The Wizard of Oz, Based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • STEPHEN WARD THE MUSICAL (2013): Book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton and Don Black
  • SCHOOL OF ROCK (2015): Lyrics by Glenn Slater, Book by Julian Fellowes. Based on the 2003 film
  • CINDERELLA (2021): Lyrics by David Zippel, Book by Emerald Fennell. Produced on Broadway as BAD CINDERELLA

Did You Know?

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim shared the same birthday.

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