Julian Lloyd Webber
Widely regarded as one of the most creative musicians of his generation and now leading England’s In Harmony programme, Julian Lloyd Webber won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music when he was sixteen and completed his studies in Geneva with the renowned French cellist, Pierre Fournier. Since then he has collaborated with an extraordinary array of musicians from Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Georg Solti to Elton John and Stephane Grappelli.
Julian has won numerous awards for his services to music, including the Crystal Award (presented at the World Economic Forum in 1998) and the Classic FM Red Award in 2005. In 1994 he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music. As leader of In Harmony, the British Government's new music programme, Julian is working to promote personal and community development in some of England's most deprived areas, through orchestral-based learning and musical experiences.
Julian has made many outstanding recordings including his Brit-Award winning Elgar Concerto conducted by Yehudi Menuhin (chosen as the finest ever version by BBC Music Magazine) the Dvorák Concerto with Vaclav Neumann and the Czech Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the London Symphony under Maxim Shostakovich and a coupling of Britten’s Cello Symphony and Walton’s Concerto with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, which was described by Gramophone magazine as “beyond any rival”. Julian has also recorded several hugely successful CDs of short pieces for Universal Classics including Made in England, Cello Moods and Cradle Song: “It would be difficult to find better performances of this kind of repertoire anywhere on records of today or yesterday” – Gramophone.
Julian has premiered more than fifty new works for cello and has inspired new compositions from composers as diverse as Malcolm Arnold and Joaquin Rodrigo to James MacMillan and Philip Glass. Recent concert performances have included three further works composed for Julian – Michael Nyman’s Double Concerto for Cello and Saxophone on BBC Television, Gavin Bryars’ Concerto in Suntory Hall, Tokyo and Philip Glass’s Concerto at the Beijing International Festival. His recording of the Glass concerto was released on the Orange Mountain label in September 2004. Recent recordings include Phantasia – based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and featuring violinist Sarah Chang – Unexpected Songs and The Art of Julian Lloyd Webber.
Julian joined the Board of Governors of London's Southbank Centre in September 2009 and earlier that year – in recognition of his lifelong devotion to Elgar’s music – he was elected President of the Elgar Society.
Julian is married to fellow cellist Jiaxin Cheng. He is a passionate supporter of Leyton Orient football club and was London Underground’s first official busker.
Julian plays the ‘Barjansky’ Stradivarius cello (c. 1690).