Julian Lloyd Webber talks about his more informal evenings

Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber

Last year cellist Julian Lloyd Webber saddened the musical world with the news that injury meant he wouldn’t he be playing his cello in public again.

Everyone was left wondering what the next step would be.

The answer is An Evening With Julian Lloyd Webber, a much more informal evening of entertainment with the maestro, which comes to Horsham’ Capitol Theatre on April 23 and Worthing’s Assembly Rooms on April 25.

In the presentation, Julian will take the audience on an historical and musical journey, offering an insight not only into his life as one of the world’s finest musicians but also as a member of arguably the most influential musical dynasty of modern times.

Julian will recount 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 life including Nigel Kennedy, Elton John, Katherine Jenkins, Tim Rice, Yehudi Menhuin, Joaquin Rodrigo, Cleo Laine and Stephane Grappelli among others.

For the backbone of the show and complimenting the chat and clips, Julian 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.

Julian himself won’t be bringing a cello – but as an encore he might just play a cello brought along by a member of the audience as a mini masterclass, he muses.

“It will be fun. I have never done anything like this before and probably never will again!

“Last year was such a shame. There were a lot of concerts I was looking forward to, but it was just one of those things. I had to cancel a lot of concerts that I really wanted to do.

“But I never said the word retirement. I just said I would never play the cello in public anymore and that I will just be doing other things.

“It was such an odd situation. I knew for six months before I made the announcement that there was a problem, and I was seeing all these specialists. I was told that if there was a chance of curing it, I would have to have a major operation. I saw three different surgeons, but the thing was I was never in any pain. I didn’t have any pain from the condition. It was just that after playing for a while, I was losing power in my bowing arm. I was told it was a dangerous, risky operation, and that it might not necessarily work. They were saying the nerves could already have been damaged. I was just not prepared to take the risk. I have got a young daughter; I have got a lovely wife. I had to think of those things.

“I still practice at home in the mornings. I am still doing quite a lot of masterclasses. I want to be able to continue to demonstrate, but my repertoire has been completely restricted. And so I need and want to be able to do other things.”

Hence this current tour: “I was thinking there were enough extraordinary things in my life as a musician I have been involved in that I could put together a fun and instructive evening.”

Interactive too. There will be plenty of chances for questions and answers.

“Times have changed. I think people like to get a bit more of the person now. I think the old classical formal atmosphere in which no one says a word was quite intimidating, especially for young people. Things are different now.”

Call The Capitol, Horsham, on 01403 750220 or visit www.worthingtheatres.co.uk.