Andrew Lloyd Webber: A Musical Theatre Virtuoso
For many, musical theatre is an experience that not only posses the power of entertainment, but the power of transformation. Masters of music such as Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Berstein, and George Gershwin used music as a theatrical element by which intense emotions and ever changing moods could be expressed. Their beautiful scores are regarded as the most impressive and moving in musical theatre history. Joining them at the top is Andrew Lloyd Webber, a man who through his compositions has enchanted millions of theatre goers not only on West End but around the world. Andrew Lloyd Webber was born on March 22, 1948, in London, England. His father was a composer and an organist and his mother was a pianist and violinist. Due to his musically oriented family Webber learned to play many instruments at home and began composing music and a fairly young age, publishing his first piece at nine year old. He attended Magdalen College, Oxford studying history until he left to follow his passion for music at the Royal College of Music. During his years at the Royal College, he began to work with Tim Rice, who would write lyrics to Webber’s music. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), their first successful production, gained worldwide fame placing Webber on the musical theatre map. A television star search entitled “Any Dream Will Do,” the title of a song from the show, aired on BBC in 2007. The American Idol-like show in which Webber himself appeared in, searched for the next “Joseph” for a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on West End (Encyclopedia Britannica). Webber’s next musical Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), a controversial retelling of the life of Jesus set to a mix of classical, rock, and some Calypso music, became one of the longest running musicals in British history. On his final theatrical venture with Rice, they created Evita (1976) based on the life of Eva...
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