Foundation set up by Andrew Lloyd Webber funds musical director’s place at Swiss Cottage Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Ben Holder. Picture: Darren Bell

Ben Holder. Picture: Darren Bell - Credit: Darren Bell Photography

A foundation set up by Phantom of the Opera composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has given a budding musical director the chance to develop his skills at one of the top drama schools in the UK.

Ben Holder was selected from hundreds of applicants for the funded role as associate musical director at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, in Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage.

He will work alongside and be mentored by staff members at the prestigious drama school, which boasts Sir Laurence Olivier and Dame Judi Dench among its star-studded alumni, to gain crucial skills on the way to becoming an experienced musical director.

In the post, which was partly funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Mr Holder will work with undergraduate students on the acting musical theatre course.

Pianist Mr Holder studied at the University of Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music before getting the position at the drama school.

He said: “I feel honoured and excited to be working at Central. It is an institution with a rich history and staggeringly impressive alumni and I hope, with my work this year, I can play some tiny part in continuing that tradition.

“I hope to bring to the role a combination of my own musicianship and expertise and a willingness to improve, and to take advantage of all the opportunities the school will present me with this year.”

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The foundation was set up by the composer in 1992 to promote arts, culture and heritage.