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Andrew Lloyd Webber was born in Kensington London, he is the oldest of William Lloyd Webber, his father a composer and organist, and his mother Jean Hermione Johnstone, a violinist and pianist. His younger brother Julian Lloyd Webber is also a noted solo cellist. Webber started writing music at a very young age as early as the age of nine. He would also put on “plays” with Julian and his Aunt in a toy theatre he built for himself after his Aunt Viola gave him the idea. His aunt was an actress and took him to see a lot of her shows. He also had given music to the Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats at the young age of 15 In 1965, Lloyd was a Queen’s Scholar at Westminster School and he studied history for a while at Magdalen College, even though he left the course in 1965 to study at Royal College of Music and pursue his interest in music and theatre.
At 17 he was an up and coming musical theatre composer and he was later introduced to the 20-year-old pop music songwriter Tim Rice in 1965. The first collapsed in The Likes of Us, a musical that was based on a true story of a man named Thomas John Barnardo. They produced a tape of their work in 1966 but the project failed to gain any backing. Although composed in 1965 The Likes of Us was not performed publicly until 2005 when a production was performed at Webber’s Sydmonton Festival. In the year 2008, rights were released by the NODA in association with some other groups. The first performance was by some kids from a children’s theatre group called Kidz R Us. The musical is similar to the Broadway musical of the 1940s and 50s; it opens with a medley of music from the original show, and the score resembles some of Lloyd Webber’s early inspirations, such as Richard Rodgers, Frederick Loewe, and Lionel Bart. In this area, it is different from the composer’s later work, which can tend to be predominantly composed, and closer to opera than to a Broadway musical. In the summer 1967 Alan Doggett, a family friend of the Webber’s who’d helped work on The Likes of Us and who was a music teacher at a school in London for a number of years, asked Lloyd Webber and Rice to help write music for the school’s choir.
Doggett requested something like pop cantata or along the lines and similar to the likes of Herbert Chappell’s The Daniel Jazz, created in 1963, and also Michael Hurd’s Jonah Man Jazz created a few years later in 1966, both had been published by Novello and were both based on the Bible’s Old Testament. Request for the new music came with a one hundred dollar advance from Novello to begin work on it immediately. This came with the result of the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a version of the bible story about Joseph. Lloyd Webber and Rice made a funny number of pop music styles of music like some Elvis rock’n’roll. Along with calypso and country music. The musical became even more famous as it was reviewed by Times Magazine for its awesome performance. Webber and Rice edited the performance and added some new music to lengthen the show. Even more, expanding eventually happened in a stage musical and an after that a two-hour long production began to be staged in the West End theatre in 1973 after the huge success of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Rice and Lloyd Webber wrote a song in 1969 for the Eurovision Song Contest named “Try It and See,” which did not win. After the lyrics were rewritten it was called “King Herod’s Song” in the third music they model, Jesus Christ Superstar which they finished in 1970.
The original plan was to follow up on Jesus Christ Superstar with a musical comedy based on the Jeeves and Wooster books by the writers at P. G. Wodehouse. Tim Rice was not certain about this, however, mostly because of he worried that he might not be able to do justice to the books that he and Webber liked so much. After doing some beginning work on the song’s lyrics, he left the project and Webber then wrote the musical with a man named Alan Ayckbourn, who brought the book and lyrics. He failed to make any impact at the box office and closed after a short time of three weeks. A few years later, Lloyd Webber and Ayckbourn returned to this project, making a completely redone and much more successful version partially created by Jeeves in 1996. Just two of the songs from the main product which was “Half a Moment” and also “Banjo Boy”. Webber collabed with Rice once more to write the musical Evita in London in 1993 and later on in the U.S., the musical was based on the life story of Eva Perón.
Like with Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita was soon released as a music album in 1976 and had the vocal talents of a woman named Julie Covington who sang the part of Eva Perón. In the song Don’t Cry for Me Argentina she became famous as the song turned into a hit single and the musical was performed at Prince Edward and was directed by Harold Prince also starring Elaine Paige as the main character Evita. A man named Patti LuPone thought of the role of Eva on Broadway in which the actress won a Tony award. Evita became a very successful show that stayed in the west end for ten years. It then came to Broadway in 1979. Rice and Lloyd stopped working together after Evita. During an interview in 2011, LuPone accused Lloyd of writing “crap music.” So in 1978, Lloyd Webber started on a solo project working with his brother Julian he based his work on the 24th Caprice by Paganini, the music ended up getting to number two in the pop album chart in the U.K. The theme was used as the same theme music for ITV’s famous South Bank Show used during it’s thirty two year run. That very same year, Webber also made some new theme music for a documentary series called Whicker’s World, which the show used from 1978-1980. Lloyd was all the rage inThis Is Your Life in November 1980 when he got extra surprised by a man named Eamonn Andrews in Television’s Euston Road Studios. Lloyd would later be honored again by this television program in November of 1994 when a man named Michael Aspel came to see him at the Adelphi Theatre. Webber started on his next new project without someone to write his lyrics, so instead, he looked within the poetry world of the famous T. S. Eliot.
In 1981 Cats became the longest-running musical production in London, it ran for about 21 years before closing. Also running on Broadway, for 18 years, another record which would later be broken by another Lloyd Webber musical, The Phantom of the Opera. Starlight Express mad in 1984 was another hit, but the music got bad reviews from critics. It had a record run in West End but only ran for less than two years on Broadway. The show has also been on two U.S. tours, as well as touring in Australian and Japanese productions, and a three year U.K. tour, which then transferred to New Zealand in 2009. Webber wrote music called a Requiem Mass which he dedicated to his father after he had died in 1982. The music came out in New York in February of 1985. Church music had been a part of Webber’s childhood and the music was inspired by an article he had read on poor Cambodian orphans. Lloyd had, during a number of different occasions, written sacred music for the Sydmonton Festival.
Lloyd Webber later got a Grammy Award in 1986 for his Requiem music placed in the category of best classical music. A man named Pie Jesu who helped with Requiem got a pretty damn high spot on U.K. pop charts. Due probably to its large orchestration, and live performances of Requiem music is apparently very rare. The musical Cricket was made in 1986 and was also named Cricket Hearts and Wickets, brought Webber to work once more with Tim Rice to create the short musical dedicated to Queen Elizabeth for her 60th birthday, it was also first performed in Windsor Castle. A lot of the music was later used for the musical Aspects of Love and also Sunset Boulevard. Lloyd Webber later premiered my favorite musical of all time, The Phantom of the Opera in 1986, which was inspired by the 1911 Gaston Leroux novel. Lloyd wrote the character Christine for his wife, Sarah Brightman, who played and sang for the role in the original London and Broadway musicals. Singing with the actor Michael Crawford who played the part of the Phantom.
The musical was directed by a man named Harold Prince, who earlier also directed Evita. Hart wrote lyrics for the Phantom of the Opera as well as some additional lyrics made by Richard Stilgoe, he co-wrote the book of the musical with Lloyd Webber. It became famous as fuck and is still running in both Broadway and the West End. In January of 2006, this sweet ass musical broke Cats record as the longest-running musical on Broadway. In February 2012, Phantom of the Opera ran its ten thousandth show on Broadway, and I strongly believe it to be one of the greatest works of art of all time. So suck on that LuPone.
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