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Lloyd Webber, Dr William Southcombe, CBE, FRCM, FRCO

Organist and composer, born in Chelsea on 11 March 1914. He showed a precocious talent on the organ and broadcast his first recital at the age of 13. He gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1931, studying composition with Ralph Vaughan Williams. In 1933 he was the youngest person ever to win a fellowship diploma at the Royal College of Organists. He was Professor of Theory and Composition at the Royal College of Music from 1942 and Director of the London College of Music from 1964. He was organist at Christ Church, Newgate Street, St. Cyprian's, Clarence Gate and All Saints, Margaret Street before becoming music director and organist at Westminster Central Hall from 1958 to 1982. His varied output included an oratorio on St. Francis of Assisi (1951) and many small-scale works. His own music did not received the attention it deserved during his lifetime, but he was appointed CBE in 1980 for his services to musical education. He was the father of the highly successful composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (b.1948; knighted 1992), the first performance of whose 'Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat' took place in Westminster Central Hall, and of the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber (b.1951). He died in Westminster on 29 October 1982.


  • Methodist Recorder, 18 Nov. 1982,11 Sept 1997
  • Oxford DNB

Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person


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