Speaker & Host
Author, broadcaster, writer awards & conferences host and after dinner speaker Sir Tim Rice’s distinguished career includes collaborations with Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber on many musicals such as 'Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat', 'Jesus Christ Superstar', and 'Evita' and spans several decades.
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Sir Tim Rice began his career in the music industry when he became an assistant record producer with the Norrie Paramor Organisation, London in 1968. His distinguished career spans several decades commencing with his meeting Andrew Lloyd Webber. Their subsequent collaboration on many musicals such as 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat', 'Jesus Christ Superstar', and 'Evita' brought worldwide recognition and these productions continue to enjoy spectacular success around the world.
In 1986 Webber and Rice wrote a thirty minute comic musical entitled 'Cricket' whose world premiere took place in the presence of H.M. the Queen and other members of the Royal Family at Windsor Castle in June of that year. In 1982 Tim Rice, with Stephen Oliver, wrote a musical comedy for children of all ages entitled 'Blondel' Between 1982 and 1984 Rice in conjunction with ABBA's, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, wrote 'Chess' which opened in the West End as a stage musical at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1986 and ran for three years and for a further two on tour in the UK. In 1989, he also co-produced with Robert Fox, Cole Porter's immortal 'Anything Goes' in the West End.
From 1989-1993 Rice worked on the adaptation/translation of the hit musical 'Starmania' by Luc Plamondon and the late Michael Berger (re-titled 'Tycoon' for the English-speaking market). The show has been a huge hit in France on both record and stage. The recording of the English language version has recently been completed and issued by Sony. Artists involved include Cyndi Lauper, Matt & Luke Goss of Bros, Ronnie Spector, Nina Hagen, Tom Jones, Kim Carnes, Willy de Ville, Celine Dion and Peter Kingsbury of Cock Robin. This recording was a number one album in France in 1993. An English stage version has been premiered in Paris and it is hoped that an adaptation will come to London in due course.
Year 2000 saw Sir Tim Rice as being the first British writer ever to have 4 shows playing on Broadway at once; 'Aida'; 'Beauty and the Beast'; 'The Lion King' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. In 1992 Rice wrote the lyrics of three songs featured in the animated feature film 'Aladdin', premiered in America on November 11th that year. The love ballad from 'Aladdin' by Tim Rice and Alan Menken, 'A Whole New World' was released as a single in the U.S. by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, and topped the US charts in February in 1993. The song won a Golden Globe in January 1993 and an Academy Award (Oscar) in March - best original song for movie in 1992. Rice also won three Grammys for his 'Aladdin' work in 1994.
From 1991 to 1994, Rice worked on the phenomenally successful Disney full-length cartoon 'The Lion King'. He wrote the words for the entire score and contributed to the storyline. The music for 'The Lion Kind' is by Elton John and Hans Zimmer. ' The Lion Kind' soundtrack album was number one in the U.S. charts for nine weeks, with sales in America alone well over 7 million, Disney's all-time most successful film album. Sales have been equally impressive in many other countries. Two songs 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' (which won a Golden Globe in January 1995) and 'Circle of Life' have already been big single hits around the world, performed by Elton John. The song 'Can you Feel the Love Tonight' won an Oscar in March 1995 for best song written for a motion picture. Tim won an Oscar for the third time for the Madonna single 'You Must Love Me' from the film of 'Evita'.
Sir Tim Rice has teamed up again with Alan Menken to write half a dozen songs for Disney's Broadway stage production of 'Beauty and the Beast'. The show opened in April 1994, and is a live adaptation of the enormously successful Disney animated film of 'Beauty'. As had been the case with 'Aladdin', Menken's original lyricist on the project was the late Howard Ashman. Rice has also written songs with many other distinguished composers such as Marvin Hamlisch (for Lauren Bacall, Bing Crosby, Jack Lemmon and George Burns), John Barry (the main title song 'All Time High' for the James Bond movie 'Octopussy'), Mike Batt (including David Essex's 'A Winter's Tale'), Paul McCartney, Paul Jones, Francis Lai, Vangelis, Richard Kerr, Rick Wakeman and the late Freddie Mercury (songs for his album with opera diva Montserrat Caballe). He is also working with John Farrar on a rock concert treatment based on the character Heathcliff from 'Wuthering Heights' for Cliff Richard. His other project was an operatic treatment of the King David story with music by Alan Menken. This work will receive its world premier in Jerusalem in September 1996 as part of the city's 3000th anniversary celebrations.
Rice broadcasts regularly for the BBC and independent radio and television networks, often drawing on his vast knowledge and private collection of popular music of the past forty years. He was a regular captain of BBC Radio 4's 'Trivia Test Match' which also featured Willie Rushton and the late Brian Johnston and which recently completed its 8th annual series. In 1987 he briefly joined the Test Match special commentary team and commentated on Radio 3 on two England matches in the World cup in India.
Rice is a member of the MCC committee and has written a book on the subject of the Lord's Art Collection 'The Treasures of Lords' (Collins, 1989). A BBC television programme was made to coincide with the publication and Rice has also appeared in other cricket videos as presenter. Every year he published privately his own 'Heartaches Cricketers' Almanack which recounts the activities of his own team, Heartaches C.C., in the year just gone. He wrote a regular column of cricket for the 'London Daily Telegraph' and irregular articles for many other English publications. Sir Tim Rice is co-author (with Paul Gambaccini and his brother Jonathan - GRR Publications) of the enormously successful 'Guinness Book of British Hit Singles', which chronicles the history of Britain's popular music charts since their inception in 1952. The first edition of this work appeared in 1977 and the 8th edition has recently been in the best sellers. The series has expanded to include books that survey album charts, number ones and even quiz books. Over 1.4 million books have now been sold under the GRR logo. With Colin Webb and Michael Parkinson, Rice launched Pavillion Books in September 1981. In the years of its existence the company has published over 300 books, principally in the fields of art, travel, sport and entertainment. Authors include Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Sebastian Coe, Sheridan Morley, Benny Green, Madhur Jaffrey and David Linley.
Rice was chairman of the 'Stars Organisation for Spastics' from 1983-85, President of the Lord's Taveners from 1988-90 and was appointed by the government, to chair the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, which distributes £60 million to sporting and artistic ventures per annum. He was knighted in the Queen's 1994 Birthday Honours list. Tim is a versatile and accomplished after-dinner speaker.