A spokeswoman for Andrew Lloyd Webber announced on Sunday that the 61-year-old composer of a number of world-famous musicals, has prostate cancer.
The cancer is in the early stages, at present Mr. Lloyd Webber is undergoing treatment and “expects to be fully back at work before the end of the year.”
Rehearsals for his new musical, “Love Never Dies,” a sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera,” are to begin in January, with performances scheduled to begin in London at the Adelphi Theater on Feb. 20, and on Broadway in November 2010.
Lloyd Webber started composing at the age of six, and published his first piece at the age of nine.
Lord Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success, with several musicals that have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass.
He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Several of his songs, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals. His company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London.
The New York Times has contributed to the report.