He’s one of the biggest names in classical from one of the greatest musical dynasties, Julian Lloyd Webber is the 2015 Harrogate International Festivals’ Guest Curator.
Elton John, Cleo Lane, Tim Rice, Katherine Jenkins…just a few of the collaborators of Julian Lloyd Webber that Harrogate audiences will get a taste of, as he recounts stories and anecdotes of touring, recording sessions, concerts, TV shows and the like, all of which will be linked with rare video footage of him playing and talking with many of the people involved in his amazing life.
The backbone of the show and complimenting the chat and clips, he will be joined by his wife and fellow cellist Jiaxin Lloyd Webber and pianist Pam Chowhan to perform works such as Faure’s Elegy, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Music of the Night, Rachmaninov’s Cello Sonata as well as works by composers William Lloyd Webber, Philip Glass, Frank Bridge, and JS Bach.
For any cellist out there- bring along your cello and have your chance for Julian Lloyd Webber to play it for you on stage as the encore and get a mini masterclass with the man himself!
Returning to the Harrogate International Festivals is like is like a homecoming for him. He’s performed at the festivals a dozen times, going back to being featured in the Young Musician series. “It’s one of the very first places I performed in public,” he says. “I played the Royal Hall in 1970 when I was 19, in a Beethoven bicentenary concert with John Lill. Things took off from there.”
“Harrogate has great venues and a great musical tradition. You know you’re going to get a good audience of people who follow classical music and are very warm and appreciative.”
A spinal problem diagnosed early in 2014 means he can only play in short bursts or to demonstrate technique. But he’ll be taking a masterclass and has been involved in suggesting artists for this year’s programme, including rising star pianist Jenna Sung from South Korea.
He says there were “some very dark days” after the diagnosis, and he describes the trauma as “something like a bereavement, because in a very real sense I was losing a large part of who I was”.
Picking himself up, he’s looking to the future.
Developing young musicians is a role he already relishes, and he continues to be evangelical about the transformative power of playing music for children.
“We have seen some so-called ‘problem’ children flourishing academically after they’ve started to learn an instrument. Music isn’t a frill – it’s a necessity.”
An Evening With Julian Lloyd Webber – 8pm on Sunday, July 12, Harrogate Royal Hall
A Masterclass with Julian Lloyd Webber – 3pm on Saturday July 11, Crown Hotel
Young Musician event: pianist Jenna Sung – 12 noon, Thursday, July 9 – The Wesley Chapel
Information and tickets: www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com or 01423 562303