“Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I remember the beauty and thrill of being moved by Broadway musicals — particularly the endings of shows. The end of ‘West Side Story,’ where audiences cried their eyes out. The last few chords of ‘My Fair Lady.’ Just great.”
Tributes are pouring in this morning for composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch, who died suddenly yesterday after a brief illness. Hamlisch composed music for more than 40 motion pictures, including his Oscar-winning score and song for “The Way We Were,” and his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s ragtime music for “The Sting,” which garnered him a third Oscar.
His smash hit on Broadway—A Chorus Line—won Hamlisch a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In recent years, he was spending a great deal of time on the podium. At the time of his death, Hamlisch held the position of Principal Pops Conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and Pops, Seattle Symphony, and San Diego Symphony. Next week, he was to be announced as the Principal Pops Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Marvin Hamlisch, one of only 11 people to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award, died yesterday here in Los Angeles. He was 68.
Update: In a statement, Pasadena Symphony and POPS CEO Paul Jan Zdunek said, “During his time in Pasadena, he was beloved in our community and made an enormous impact with everyone he encountered. He brought a tireless humor and enthusiasm to the stage, and was loved by our audience, musicians, and staff. Marvin propelled the Pasadena POPS into a new and successful era, guided by his contributions to the Great American Songbook carrying on the legacies of Richard Rogers and George Gershwin. His was a giant in American music and a true national treasure.
“Marvin was here when we needed him with his vision and artistic guidance. He was a great friend and his music leaves an unforgettable legacy to the world. Marvin was a remarkable person and an incredible talent who will be dearly missed.”