Julian Lloyd Webber has announced that he has to retire early because of a neck injury.
The 63-year-old cellist has had to take the decision to stop playing because of a herniated disc in his neck that impedes the use of his right (bowing) arm.
‘I am devastated. There were so many exciting plans that cannot now come to fruition,’ Lloyd Webber said. ‘I have had an immensely fulfilling career and feel privileged to have worked with so many great musicians and orchestras but now I have to move on.’
His final concert takes place on 2 May with the English Chamber Orchestra and after that he will take ‘time to reflect and to consider this sudden and distressing life-changing decision’.
Lloyd Webber’s most recent recording, A Tale of Two Cellos, is a compilation of duets made with his wife Jiaxin Cheng that stayed in the classical charts for weeks.
The cellist made his professional debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in 1972 performing Sir Arthur Bliss’s Cello Concerto and has released more than 40 recordings throughout his career.