Julian Lloyd Webber is an award winning cellist who has performed with many of the world’s greatest orchestras. He shares his vision of a perfect world
Music would be more accessible
Music has been allowed to slip out of our school system—they pretend it’s part of the national curriculum, but it really isn’t. A whole lot of children never get access to music, unless their parents can afford to pay for it. And I think that’s completely wrong. I hate that people say that classical music is elitist. I believe that composers wrote for everybody so to see whole sections of society growing up excluded from it is completely wrong.
"A whole lot of children never get access to music, unless their parents can afford to pay for it"
Music can be such a positive force and it needs to be more easily accessed. I’ve worked on the “30 under 30 Project” with Classic FM, which began in lockdown. I was working with young musicians who were just devastated because suddenly all their plans for live performances disappeared. The project provided an outlet for the young artists’ talents by playing their recordings instead. Now there’s a Sky Arts TV special about it, too. It’s something that has grown into a great platform for young musicians.
Government decisions would require proper consultation
I think that before introducing controversial or extreme measures that affect so many people, in quite possibly a negative way, proper consultation should be done first. It shouldn’t just be that something can be pushed through Parliament without proper consultation—we’ve seen that recently and steps should be taken to prevent that happening again.
Referendums would need a 60 per cent majority
Another serious one: I think referendums should never be passed at 50 per cent, it should be 60/40. You can’t pass these far, wide-ranging changes without a bigger majority!
The Brexit vote was 52 to 48, the Scottish vote was very close. I’m not saying anything about which way I believe it should have gone, but I think the margin should be far greater than 49 per cent to 51 per cent.
Plastic would be banned
We have to look at banning plastic, because what it’s doing in the sea and to wildlife is just appalling. To produce something that’s indestructible in this way and just dumping it is completely wrong.
Copyright laws should be changed
At the moment copyright laws mean that composers earn a lot more from royalties than performers do, and I think that’s not right. Obviously composers can’t do without people performing the music, so why are performers receiving so much less royalty? And you know, with all the streaming now performers are still only receiving a pittance per stream and it’s wrong, the royalties are completely unevenly distributed.
Football team ownership should be tested
The Football League have a test for new owners called the fit-and-proper-persons test but it’s very weak, and some football clubs have really suffered.
"It’s destroying people’s livelihoods and communities"
My local football team was taken over by a guy who showed that he was incapable of running a football club. We nearly went out of business! He wasn’t paying the players, he wasn’t paying any ground staff, the pitch was unplayable by the end.
There should be something in the rules to stop that happening because it’s destroying people’s livelihoods and communities.
A solution for cladding issues
I would find a solution for the cladding issue. I read about one lady who just couldn’t sell her flat because of the cladding and that is devastating for people. Grenfell showed the dangers of cladding.
It’s not right that people who have bought a property in good faith find that they’re expected to live in a place that is dangerous and unsellable.
Next summer Julian and his wife Jiaxin will be taking Bach’s Cello suites to festivals across the UK
Read more: Alison Sudol: If I Ruled The World
Read more: Is music licensing changing the industry?
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter