Revered cellist Julian Lloyd Webber has announced his retirement.

Theatre impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber's brother has revealed he can no longer perform at a high standard due to a herniated disc in his neck, which has left him unable to hold his bow properly.

The 63 year old says, "I am devastated. There were so many exciting plans that cannot now come to fruition... I need time to reflect and to consider this sudden and distressing life-changing situation."

He adds, "I have had an immensely fulfilling career and feel privileged to have worked with so many great musicians and orchestras but now I have to move on."

His final concert will take place at the Forum Theatre, in Malvern, England on Friday (02May14), but he has no plans to become a recluse, adding, "I would like to use the knowledge I have gained through my life as a musician and an educator to give back as much as I can to the music profession, which has given me so much over the years."

The news ends a 42-year stage career, which began in 1972 when Lloyd Webber performed Sir Arthur Bliss' Cello Concerto in London.

Paying tribute to his brother, Lord Lloyd Webber says, "I had known of Julian's difficulties for some while and, like him, I was hoping this (retirement) would not come to pass. Music has lost one of its finest performers."