Whether or not you think How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? has done British culture any good, the US can’t seem to get enough of Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has made an undeniable contribution to the arts on both sides of the Atlantic. The composer of more than 15 top musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera and Evita, is being honoured for lifetime contribution to American culture with a prestigious Kennedy Center Honor. He will receive the award at a ceremony hosted by Condoleezza Rice on 2 December 2006, before being whisked off to meet George Bush the next day. Previous winners of the annual awards, which are held at Washington DC’s John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, include Paul Newman, Tony Bennett, Tina Turner, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson and Julie Andrews. This year, Lloyd Webber joins Steven Spielberg, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson and conductor Zubin Mehta in receiving the accolade. In a comment on his personal weblog, Lloyd Webber said: "I’m very flattered to have been asked to join the enormously impressive list of people the Kennedy Center has honoured over the years."