Andrew Lloyd Webber is considered 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 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass.
He has also gained a number of honors, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, fourteen Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006.
Several 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" and "You Must Love Me" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats have become popular hit songs.
Webber's company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London. Producers in several parts of the UK have staged productions, including national tours, of the Lloyd Webber musicals under license from the Really Useful Group.
Lloyd Webber started writing his own music at a young age, a suite of six pieces at the age of nine. He also put on "productions" with Julian and his Aunt Viola in his toy theatre. His aunt Viola, an actress, took him to see many of her shows and through the stage door into the world of the theatre.
Lloyd Webber was a Queen's Scholar at Westminster School and first studied history at Magdalen College, Oxford, although he abandoned the course to study at the Royal College of Music and pursue his interest in musical theatre.
Lloyd Webber's first collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice was The Likes of Us, a musical based on the story of Thomas John Barnardo. Although composed in 1965, it was not publicly performed until 2005, when a production was staged at his Lloyd Webber's Sydmonton Festival.
Also in the 1960s, Rice and Lloyd Webber wrote a number of individual pop songs that were recorded as singles for record labels.
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