Andrew Lloyd Webber


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John Snelson

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The first comprehensive survey of the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, the best-known composer of musical theater of our generation

Andrew Lloyd Webber is the most famous—and most controversial—composer of musical theater alive today. Hundreds of millions of people have seen his musicals, which include Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and Sunset Boulevard. Even more know his songs.

Lloyd Webber’s many awards include seven Tonys and three Grammys—but he has nonetheless been the subject of greater critical vitriol than any of his artistic peers. Why have both the man and his work provoked such extreme responses? Does he challenge his audiences, or merely recycle the comfortable and familiar? Over three decades, how has Lloyd Webber changed fundamentally what a musical can be?
In this sustained examination of Lloyd Webber’s creative career, the music scholar John Snelson explores the vast range of influences that have informed Lloyd Webber’s work, from film, rock, and pop music to Lloyd Webber’s own life story. This rigorous and sympathetic survey will be essential reading for anyone interested in Lloyd Webber’s musicals and the world of modern musical theater that he has been so instrumental in shaping.

John Snelson is Editor of Publications at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

“It is a considerable tribute to the quintessentially British Andrew Lloyd Webber that he should feature so early in a Broadway Masters series: John Snelson’s masterly account of his music is not intended as a full-scale biography, but as a technical study of his work it is unbeatable.”Sheridan Morley, award winning biographer and broadcaster based in London

"This is an extremely comprehensive, well-balanced and rich survey of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s entire career."William A. Everett, co-editor, The Cambridge Companion to the Musical

“A meaty comprehensive study.”Jessica Duchen, Classic FM Magazine

“This second volume in the Yale Broadway Masters series is a welcome one. . . . Snelson’s contribution to our understanding of this music theater giant lies in his ability to explicate Webber’s musical creations, both the successes and the failures. . . . This first comprehensive survey of Webber’s oeuvre is recommended for academic and larger public libraries.”—Library Journal

"A valuable contribution to the field and a goldmine for anyone doing dramaturgical work on a production."—Annette Thornton, Theatre Journal

Received rating of "Outstanding" from 2005 University Press Books Committee
ISBN: 9780300104592
Publication Date: September 10, 2004
288 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
34 b/w illus. + 27 musical examples