The British artist was forced to retire from performing last year due to a neck injury


Julian Lloyd Webber has been appointed the new principal of Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK. The British cellist announced his retirement from playing in April last year, due to a herniated disc in his neck which had reduced the power in his right arm. He replaces current principal David Saint, who retires in April.

Part of Birmingham City University, the Conservatoire recently unveiled plans for its new home – the UK’s first complete new build conservatoire since 1987, comprising five performance venues, including a concert hall, recital hall and more than 70 music practice rooms.

‘I am honoured and thrilled to be chosen as the new principal of Birmingham Conservatoire,’ said Lloyd Webber. ‘The state-of-the-art facilities being built within Birmingham City University’s superb campus will be second to none and superior to many, both throughout the UK and beyond. I am especially excited about the fantastic opportunities that will be on offer to our students.’

Lloyd Webber has been heavily involved in education for some time: he is chairman of In Harmony’s Sistema England, the English music education scheme inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, and founder of the Music Education Consortium which has secured £332m in government funding for music education.

He revealed that he would sell his cello – the ‘Barjansky’ Stradivarius, c. 1690-1700 – earlier this year, an instrument he acquired from Sotheby’s in 1983 for a then-record price.

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