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Have cello... will travel.

Byline: By DAVID POWELL

RENOWNED cellist Julian Lloyd Webber is celebrating a victory over Whitehall mandarins. That's because, since his autumn chat with the Daily Post, civil servants have stopped insisting cellos are stashed in cargo holds on flights, rather than carried on as hand luggage.

Lloyd Webber was upset about this aspect of the security clampdown after alleged bomb plots on transatlantic airliners. Now though, cellos can be hand luggage again.

From his Kensington flat, he says: "We won a great victory. A week after I spoke to the Daily Post, the department of transport backed down. They were being so dictatorial but they couldn't come up with any logic about what, if people can take these instruments through the x-ray machine, possible danger they could pose.

"A lot of musicians got together. It shows what can be done if people work in tandem. You pay for a seat (for your cello) so you're allowed to bring it on. That is the crucial factor in being able to travel at all."

Lloyd Webber plays the Barjansky Stra-divarius cello of circa 1690 - and he'll bring it next month when he heads for Llandudno's Venue Cymru to perform Elgar's Cello Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to mark the 150th anniversary of Elgar's birth (1857-1934).

He says: "It will be the last concert out of nine. I last played in North Wales at St Asaph in September. We get warm audiences, they know their classical music. And I love Wales. It's a beautiful country."

He believes the Elgar Cello Concerto will be well-received in Llandudno.

"It is such a popular piece that lots of people know it. It's a great piece of music. There so much in it every time you play it you find something extra or something new. It's a magical piece to play. I never tire of it." In Llangollen in March, he'll perform in a recital accompanied by piano.

Julian's latest recording, Unex- 1 pected Songs, was released this summer and features guest artists such as Michael Ball and Catrin Finch, on pieces like Marble Halls and Hushaby Mountain.

"The recording with Catrin wasB one of the easiest I have ever done. I did four things with her, all cello and harp. She's such a natural player, we recorded very quickly. It was a joy to do it."

Julian Lloyd Webber performs at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on January 28. He gives a recital at the Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen on March 18. For more details visit www.julianlloydwebber.com

featureswales@dailypost.co.uk

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At least leading musician Julian Lloyd Webber won't have to battle any airlines when he comes to North Wales
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 29, 2006
Words:448
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