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William Lloyd Webber

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Biography

William Southcombe Lloyd Webber (11 March 1914, London–29 October 1982, London) was an English organist and composer.

The son of William Charles Henry Webber, a self-employed plumber, he was fortunate, from a musical point of view, that his father was a keen organ ‘buff’ who spent what little money he had travelling to hear various organs in and around the capital. Often he would take his son with him, and before long, young William started to play the organ himself and developed a keen interest that bordered on the obsessional.

By the age of 14, William Lloyd Webber had already become a well-known organ recitalist, giving frequent performances at many important churches and cathedrals throughout Great Britain. He won an organ scholarship to Mercers’ School, later winning a further scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music where he studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams and gained his FRCO diploma at nineteen. Because there was already another student at the college with the name William Webber, William continued to use his second middle name ‘Lloyd’ from then on as part of his name.

Parallel to his activities as an organist, he began to compose, and several interesting works date from this early period including Fantasy Trio of 1936. Although the second world war interrupted his composition (he was organist and choirmaster at All Saints, Margaret Street, London throughout the war) its ending marked the beginning of Lloyd Webber’s most prolific years as a composer.

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