William Southcombe Lloyd Webber CBE (11 March 1914 – 29 October 1982) was an English organist and composer, achieving some fame as a part of the modern classical music movement yet commercially facing mixed opportunities. Besides his long and prestigious career, composing works ranging from choral pieces to instrumental items and more, he is known for being the father of both fellow composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and virtuoso cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. He also notably served as a teacher, instructing pupils on music theory at the Royal College of Music for a time.
Lloyd Webber was born in London. The son of William Charles Henry Webber, a self-employed plumber, he was fortunate, from a musical point of view, that his father was a keen organ 'buff' who spent what little money he had travelling to hear various organs in and around the capital. Often he would take his son with him and, before long, young William started to play the organ himself and developed a keen interest that bordered on the obsessional.
By the age of 14, William Lloyd Webber had already become a well-known organ recitalist, giving frequent performances at many important churches and cathedrals throughout Great Britain. He won an organ scholarship to the Mercers' School, later winning a further scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams and gained his FRCO diploma at nineteen. Because there was already another student at the college with the name William Webber, William continued to use his second middle name 'Lloyd' from then on as part of his name.