Julian Lloyd Webber has been Principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire since 2015 and has overseen the development and opening of a new £57 million teaching and performance facility that fuses the contemporary with the traditional to create a unique creative environment for the digital age.
Designed by the award-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCB), who have worked on projects such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, the Victorian Theatre at Alexandra Palace and Brighton Dome, the magnificent building features 9,000 sq m of purpose designed teaching, rehearsal and state of the art performance space and is a short walk away from both New Street and Moor Street Stations.
Dluxe caught up with Julian to find out more about the Conservatoire and what he loves about the city it calls home…
When did you first come to Birmingham?
I visited Birmingham many times while I was playing. I think the first time was in January 1978 at the beautiful St Philips Cathedral when I played Elgar’s Cello Concerto.
What was it about the city that caught your attention?
Birmingham has so many beautiful buildings – sometimes they are submerged amidst not-so-beautiful – but it’s getting a lot better!
What do you think makes Birmingham unique?
It’s a ‘working’ city. Everyone is busy all of the time, yet they still have time to be friendly.
What part of the city do you call home and why?
We are right in the city centre which is great as everything is on our doorstep.
What do you love most about Birmingham?
What frustrates you about it?
The terrible traffic congestion.
How do you see the city growing culturally?
The offering is already second-to-none – now it’s about the rest of the
world knowing about it.
What’s your favourite way to relax in the city?
In one of the many brilliant pubs. Which one’s your favourite?
Too many to list!
What’s your favourite place to eat in the city?
Either Fumo or San Carlo.
What’s your ambition for Birmingham?
For people to recognise what a great place it already is.
In your time here, what has surprised you most about Birmingham?
Its seemingly endless transformation, its friendliness and its vibrancy.