10 Things You Might Not Know About... Andrew Lloyd Webber

Think you know all there is to know about Andrew Lloyd Webber? Better double check!

By: Aug. 14, 2020
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Andrew Lloyd Webber is undoubtedly one of the greatest composers in history, writing some of the most beloved and enduring works of all-time.

His road to success and beyond has been well-documented, but there are still some bits of trivia that may have fallen through the cracks for even the most phanatical phans of this musical giant.

Check out some phun phacts about the great Lord Lloyd Webber here!

Music runs in the family.

Andrew's father William Lloyd Webber was a composer and organist, his mother Jean Hermione Johnstone, was a violinist and pianist and his younger brother, Julian Lloyd Webber, is a world renowned cellist. Lloyd Webber's composing career began at a very young age. He began playing violin at age three and wrote his first work, a suite of six pieces, at the age of nine.

He has composed classical works.

Though Lloyd Webber is best known as a purveyor of pop and rock style tunes, church music made up a large part of his upbringing. Following the passing of his father in 1982, Lloyd Webber wrote a Requiem mass dedicated in his memory, which debuted at St. Thomas Church in New York in 1985. Lloyd Webber went on to win a 1986 Grammy Award for Best Classical Composition for the work. His Pie Jesu from the piece landed high on the UK pop charts and has been recorded widely. Due to its massive orchestrations, performances of the full Requiem are rare. He has also composed sacred music for the annual Sydmonton Festival on a number of occasions.

He created a commissioned work for the royal family.

In 1986, Lloyd Webber and composing partner, Tim Rice, composed a short musical Cricket, for Queen Elizabeth's 60th birthday celebration, commissioned by her youngest son, Prince Edward. The piece was performed at Windsor Castle, after which several of the tunes found their way into Aspects of Love and Sunset Boulevard.

He worked as a newspaper columnist.

From 1995-2000, Lloyd Webber worked for The Daily Telegraph, writing the Matters of Taste column in which he he reviewed restaurants and hotels. The columns featured illustrations by Lucinda Rogers.

He is the one of the wealthiest musicians in the UK (and the world).

In 2019, Lloyd Webber topped the Sunday Times list of wealthiest musicians in the United Kingom, beating out Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles, who came in second. On their 2020 list, McCartney tied with Lloyd Webber, both boasting net worths of over £800m ($1.2 billion) each. He and McCartney are also currently tied for richest musicians in the world.

His cat destroyed the score to the Phantom sequel.

In 2007, one of Lloyd Webber's most treasured subjects became his worst enemy when the composer's cat, a Turkish Van called Otto, single-handedly destroyed the score for his sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, then called Phantom in Manhattan.

The curious kitten somehow found its way into the frame of the composer's digital Clavinova piano and broke the computer inside, wiping the full contents of the score from existence.

He told the Mail, "I was trying to write some new music; Otto got into the grand piano, jumped onto the computer and destroyed the entire score for the new Phantom in one fell swoop."

He wrote a song for Elvis.

Together, he and Tim Rice wrote the Elvis Presley song, "It's Easy For You," recorded during Presley's last recording session in October 29, 1976. The song was released on Elvis' last album "Moody Blue" in 1977.

He did not attend the premiere of Phantom.

Lloyd Webber was so nervous about the premiere of The Phantom of the Opera that he didn't attend the show. Producer Cameron Mackintosh had to find him and drag him back to the theater for the curtain calls.

He is the king of simultaneous productions.

In 2017, Lloyd Webber began the first composer since Rodgers and Hammerstein to have four musicals running simultaneously on Broadway, with The Phantom of the Opera, Cats. Sunset Boulevard, and School of Rock all running at the same time. He is also the first and only composer to have six productions running in London's West End at the same time, a distinction he earned in 1991. He also famously boasts the two longest running shows in Broadway history, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

He is an avid art collector.

When he's not writing some of the greatest theatrical works in history, Lloyd Webber is an avid art collector, and is specifically passionate about Victorian painting. In 2003 the Royal Academy presented an exhibition of works in his collection under the title Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters - The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection.