Oscar-winning composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed his eldest son, Nicholas, is “critically ill” and has been hospitalised with stomach cancer.
In a statement, the British composer, who wrote the scores for musicals including The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Evita and more, revealed he is “absolutely devastated” by the news.
“As my friends and family know, he has been fighting gastric cancer for the last 18 months and Nick is now hospitalised,” Webber wrote of his 43-year-old son.
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“I, therefore, have not been able to attend the recent previews of [my new musical] Bad Cinderella and as things stand, I will not be able to cheer on its wonderful cast, crew and orchestra on opening night this Thursday.”
He continued: “We are all praying that Nick will turn the corner. He is bravely fighting with his indomitable humour, but at the moment my place is with him and the family.”
Nicholas is a Grammy-nominated English composer and record producer, who has worked with his father on multiple occasions, including on Bad Cinderella and his Symphonic Suites, released in 2021.
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Nicholas has composed the music for a number of productions, including new music Fat Friends and the Timothy Spall drama, The Last Bus.
The composer is married to his wife Polly Wiltshire, and is the son of Lloyd Webber and his first wife, Sarah Hugill, as is his older sister, Imogen.
The pair’s younger siblings, Isabella, William and Alastair, are the children of Lloyd Webber and his third wife, Madeleine Gurdon.
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The news comes following the composer’s announcement to fans that he has been asked to write a new anthem for King Charles’ coronation in May.
The 74-year-old revealed in February that he scored the anthem specifically for the acoustics of Westminster Abbey, to suit the choir, organ, ceremonial brass and orchestra.