On This Day: Cats composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is born

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber at the piano in New York City, 1978.

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber at the piano in New York City, 1978. Photo: Getty

His famous show tunes are known all over the world – even among those who claim they don’t like musicals.

Whether it’s Cats, Phantom of the Opera or Jesus Christ Superstar, chances are you’ve heard the work of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

On this day in 1948, the English composer was born.

From a young age, it appeared Lloyd Webber was destined to be a musician.

Andrew Lloyd Webber with American actor Patti LuPone working on the original Broadway cast recording of Evita in 1979. Photo: Getty

His father William was a composer and organist, and his mother Jean was a violinist and pianist.

By the time he was nine years old, Lloyd Webber had written a suite of six musical pieces.

With the support of his parents, he also put on “productions” in a DIY toy theatre with his younger brother Julian, who became a world-renowned cellist.

It seemed inevitable that Lloyd Webber would have a career in musical theatre, but no one could have predicted his global success.

The 72-year-old’s expansive repertoire now includes 21 musicals, two film scores and a Latin Requiem Mass.

Revered in the United Kingdom and abroad, Lloyd Webber has received dozens of awards, including a knighthood in 1992, a peerage from Queen Elizabeth II for services to the Arts, six Tonys, three Grammys, an Academy Award and an Emmy.

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber at the 60th Grammy Awards in New York in 2018. Photo: Getty

Young students learning to sing are all but guaranteed to have practised one of his hits.

They include The Music of the Night and All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera, I Don’t Know How to Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar, Memory from Cats and Any Dream Will Do from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

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