A REGULAR visitor to Hereford – on both sides of Edgar Street – internationally renowned cellist and patron of Hereford Concert Society, Julian Lloyd Webber will return to the city on Monday, September 29 for a 10th anniversary fundraising concert for the society and The Courtyard.

Widely regarded as one of the most creative musicians of his generation, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music when he was 16 and completed his studies in Geneva with the renowned French cellist Pierre Fournier.

Since then he has collaborated with an extraordinary array of musicians from Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Georg Solti.

He has made many outstanding recordings including his Brit-Award winning Elgar Concerto conducted by Yehudi Menuhin and has premiered more than 50 new works for cello and inspired new compositions from composers as diverse as Malcolm Arnold and Joaquin Rodrigo to James MacMillan and Philip Glass.

Julian’s most recent recordings include Phantasia, based on brother Andrew’s Phantom of the Opera.

Julian was four when he spotted a cellist in an orchestra and knew that’s what he wanted to play. His mother had tried to steer him towards the piano, which his brother Andrew played, but it was the cello that caught his imagination.

“If there hadn’t been music always being played in my family home, and I hadn’t liked it, I may have been interested in something else,” he says.

“I fancied the idea of being a detective or a footballer, like most young boys.”

Julian’s Concert Society patronage is not his only Hereford connection – he is also patron of music charity, The Music Pool and has agreed to be on the judging panel for the composition competition for next year’s Gathering Wave.

As for the other side of Edgar Street, while Leyton Orient is his London team, the Bulls get his out-of-town support – “I’ve got a really soft spot for Hereford United” – presenting him with a potential conflict of interest now Hereford have been promoted to League 1.

Julian Lloyd Webber plays at The Courtyard on Monday, September 29, at 7.30pm. To book, call the box office on 0870 1122330 or visit courtyard.org.uk