Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Date of Birth
Height

5'' 9¼" (1.76 m)

Mini Biography

Andrew Lloyd Webber is arguably the most successful composer of our time. He is best known for stage and film adaptations of his musicals Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), Cats (1994), Evita (1996), and The Phantom of the Opera (2004).

He was born on March 22, 1948, in South Kensington in London, England, the first of two sons of William Lloyd Webber, an organist and composer. His mother, Jean Johnstone, was a pianist and violinist. Young Andrew Lloyd Webber learned to play various musical instruments at home and began composing at an early age. He continued his music studies at Westminster School, where his father was an organist. At the age of 9, young Andrew was able to play the organ and assisted his father during performances. In 1964 he went to Oxford University as a Queens Scholar of history.

In 1965 he met lyricist Tim Rice and dropped out of school to compose musicals and pop songs. In 1968 he had his first success with the West End production of ''Joseph and the Amasing Techicolor Dreamcoat''. From the 1960s to 2000s Lloyd Webber has been constantly updating his style as an eclectic blend of musical genres ranging from classical to rock, pop, and jazz, and with inclusion of electro-acoustic music and choral-like numbers in his musicals.

Andrew Lloyd Webber shot to fame in 1971 with the opening of his rock opera ''Jesus Christ Superstar''. His next successful collaboration with Tim Rice was the musical biopic ''Evita'', based on the true story of Eva Peron of Argentina. Andrew Lloyd Webber has been constantly updating the genre of musical theatre. In 1981 he delivered ''Cats'', based on Old Possum''s Book of Practical Cats and other poems by T.S. Eliot. It was produced at New London Theatre, where stage was designed as a giant junkyard with large-scale bottles and cans scattered around a huge tire representing a playground for cats dressed in exotic costumes who would come and go through the aisles. The record-breaking production of ''Cats'' was on stage for 21 seasons, from 1981 - 2002, and became one of the most popular musicals of all time. It played the total of 8,949 performances in London and 7,485 in New York.

In 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber released his most successful musical, ''The Phantom of the Opera'', based on the eponymous book by Gaston Leroux with the English lyrics by Charles Hart. ''The Phantom of the Opera'' became the highest grossing entertainment event of all time, with total worldwide gross of 3,3 billion dollars and attendance of 80 million. It is also the longest running Broadway musical of all time and the most financially successful Broadway show in history. ''The Phantom of the Opera'' was translated into several languages and was produced in more than twenty countries as "clones" of the original production, using similar staging, direction, costumes concept and sets design.

He was knighted Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1992, and was created an honorary life peer in 1997 as Baron Lloyd-Webber, of Syndmonton in the County of Hampshire. He won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song for Evita (1996), and received two more Oscar nominations. Among his other awards are seven Tonys and three Grammys, including his 1986 Grammy Award for Requiem in the category of best classical composition. In 2006 Andrew Lloyd Webber was Awarded Kennedy Center Honors. He owns seven London theatres, which he also restored. Outside of his entertainment career he developed a passion for collecting Pre-Raphaelite paintings and Victorian art. He was married three times and has five children. He is residing in England.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is currently working on his new opera titled ''Master and Margarita'' based on the eponymous novel by Mikhail A. Bulgakov.

Trivia

He was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 1992 Queen''s Honours List and awarded Life-Peerage in the 1997 Queen''s New Years Honours List for his services to Music. Since 1997, he has been Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and can sit in the House of Lords in Parliament in London, England.

Started playing the violin aged three.

Had written nine musicals by the time he had left school.

Has owned a race horse.

He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2001 (2000 season) for Best New Musical for "The Beautiful Game."

He was nominated for a 2004 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Outstanding Musical Production of 2003 for both "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Tell Me on A Sunday," both performed in London''s West End.

He was awarded the 2000 London Critics Circle Theatre Award for Best New Musical for "The Beautiful Game" with Ben Elton at the Cambridge Theatre.

Shares birthday with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim.

Has won Broadway''s Tony Award three times: in 1980, as Best Score (Musical), his music with lyrics by Tim Rice, for "Evita;" in 1983, as Best Score, his music with lyrics by T.S. Eliot, for "Cats;" and in 1995, as Best Original Musical Score, his music with lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, for "Sunset Boulevard." He was Tony-nominated eight other times: in 1972, as Best Score, him as Composer and Rice as Lyricist, for "Jesus Christ Superstar;" in 1982, as Best Score, his music with Rice''s lyrics, for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat;" in 1986, as Best Score, with collaborators Black and Richard Maltby Jr., for "Song & Dance;" in 1987, as Best Score, his music with lyrics by Richard Stilgoe for "Starlight Express;" in 1988, as Best Book (Musical) with collaborator Stilgoe and Best Score (Musical), with collaborators Stilgoe and Charles Hart for "The Phantom of the Opera;" and in 1990, as Best Score (Musical), his music with lyrics by Black and Hart, and Best Book (Musicl) for "Aspects of Love."

Wrote song "It''s Easy For You," recorded by Elvis Presley during his last session in October 29, 1976. It was released in Elvis'' last album "Moody Blue" in 1977.

Awarded Kennedy Center Honors in 2006, with Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Steven Spielberg, and Zubin Mehta.

Father, from his first marriage, of Nick Lloyd Webber and author Imogen Lloyd Webber. Father, from his third marriage, of Alastair Adam (born May 3, 1992), William Richard (born August 24, 1993) and Isabella Aurora (born April 30, 1996).

Has written the music for the two longest running Broadway shows in history, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

Older brother of Julian Lloyd Webber.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995.

Ranked #5 in the 2008 Telegraph''s list "the 100 most powerful people in British culture".

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

Webber''s 1986 musical "Phantom of the Opera" was inspired by Ken Hill''s 1976 musical version of the same name. Hill''s version is credited as the first Phantom musical and was a success. Sarah Brightman, who later created the role of Christine in Webber''s version, was famously asked to play the role of Christine in Hill''s 1984 revival but turned down the offer. Webber, who was then married to Brightman, had actually seen Hill''s show and asked Hill to collaborate Phantom on a larger scale for the Victoria Palace Theatre in the West End; eventually Webber pursued the musical without Hill. Hill and Webber had previously worked together on a revival of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat".

The Sunday Times List estimated his net worth at $1.2 billion. [2009]

His musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Marriott Theatre in Chicago, Illinois was nominated for a 2009 Joseph Jefferson Award for Production of a Musical-Large.

Personal Quotes

"There is a recommendation that schools spend a certain amount of time teaching music but it really depends on whether the teachers believe in it. In some primary and secondary schools there is no musical provision at all but other well-resourced schools have plenty."

In reference to singer/actress Emmy Rossum: "She is a wonderfully pure soprano, with an exceptional range. But more than this she also brings real character into the voice - so rare for her age."

If you''re a composer you do want to know how people are reacting to it but at the same time, of course, the performer is the most important thing.

I''m a composer and therefore I know when I''ve written a good tune. When you''ve written a good song is when you know that the lyric is completely coalesced with the song. Sometimes I think I''ve written melodies that may have got a bit buried because maybe the lyric hasn''t worked with the song. Sometimes, actually, it''s the other way around. When you''re writing for musical theatre the story comes first. If the story''s right then the songs will probably come right.