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Julian Lloyd Webber finds Birmingham 'refreshing' following conservatoire move

New principal of acclaimed music school says it is great to be living somewhere is not brought to a standstill by Tube strikes

Julian Lloyd Webber marks the start of building work on the new Birmingham Conservatoire
Julian Lloyd Webber has become a fan of Birmingham since moving to the city earlier this year

Acclaimed musician Julian Lloyd Webber has hit out at London's "overcrowding, Tube strikes and oligarchs from the planet Zog" just months after relocating to Birmingham.

The life-long Londoner arrived in the city this summer after being handed the reins to lead Birmingham Conservatoire - and he is not missing the place of his birth.

He said it was refreshing to be in a city which wasn't regularly "held to ransom by Tube drivers" or "populated by what Boris Johnson described as "oligarchs from the planet Zog'".

Prof Lloyd Webber said: "As a Londoner all my life, it has been a culture shock to relocate to Birmingham.

"Suddenly, I'm living in a city which is not regularly brought to a complete standstill by Tube drivers whose basic salary is far greater than most musicians, which does not have property prices pushed up to obscene levels by oligarchs and which actually has not just one but two world class concert halls for orchestral music."

The world-renowned musician took up the role as principal of the conservatoire in July after retiring from his critically acclaimed career as a cellist last year.

The conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, has trained industry professionals from composer Jae-Moon Lee to award-winning soul songstress Laura Mvula and recording artist Rhydian Roberts.

He added: "Music education is not just about students learning to play instruments - it's about preparing them to get a job.

"When I left the Royal College of Music, I was almost completely unprepared for a career as a self-employed musician.

"Vital pieces of practical information were never discussed and they all had to be learned the hard way."

Pictures: CGIs of Birmingham Conservatoire


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