Andrew Lloyd Webber is to receive a Special Recognition Award for Musical Theatre & Education at next week's Classic BRIT Awards.
The Classic BRITs return for the first time in five years on June 13 at the Royal Albert Hall.
Lloyd Webber (pictured) recently celebrated his 70th birthday, which will be marked with a performance by Meghan Picerno, currently starring as Christine in the tour of Love Never Dies. He is also being recognised for his work both in supporting music education and for speaking out against funding cuts to music education.
Lloyd Webber said: “Now that I am 70 I look back and think how lucky I have been. You are very lucky if you know what you want to do in life. I am doubly lucky that I not only have made a living out of my passion but a hugely rewarding one. I hope through my Foundation that I am able to give something back to the profession that has been so good to me.
"I am a passionate believer in the importance of the arts in schools, particularly music, which transcends all languages, shades of politics, race and creeds. In our increasingly dangerous and fractured world, the arts have never been as vital as they are today and they should be free."
Since 2010, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded over £19m to support emerging artists and the provision of music education, performing arts training, and heritage skills across the UK. The Foundation has awarded £2.4m to the Music in Secondary Schools Trust, enabling more than 6500 children across London to receive free classical music instruments and lessons as well as access to high profile performance opportunities.
Classic BRIT Awards co-chair Rebecca Allen said: “Our business is built on exceptional artists, without exceptional artists we are nothing. It is our responsibility, our duty to seek out and support these artists, and without music being supported in schools, our bloodline stops. The work Andrew Lloyd Webber and his team do to support music in schools is significant and we as an industry must acknowledge and applaud this, for without support like this in schools, our industry will falter.”
Lloyd Webber has been vocal about the "national scandal" of cuts to music education in schools. A recent study by the University Of Sussex found that music is losing out to English and Maths due to the government introducing the English Baccalaureate in 2010. The number of schools offering GCSE Music are falling, compulsory music lessons were in 84% of schools in 2012-13, falling to 62% in 2016/17.
The Classic BRIT Awards are also supporting the London Music Fund, donating tickets so 20 of their scholars can attend the awards.
Dame Vera Lynn has already been announced as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Tokio Myers will be named Classic BRITs Breakthrough Artist Of The Year.