Aug 072012
 
Marvin Hamlisch in 2011

Marvin Hamlisch, the singularly productive and sensationally decorated composer of musicals like “A Chorus Line” and songs like “The Way We Were,” has died, his family said Tuesday through a representative. He was 68.

A statement said that Mr. Hamlisch collapsed after a brief illness and died on Monday in Los Angeles but did not provide additional details.

In a career that spanned film, television, theater and recorded music, Mr. Hamlisch won seemingly every award available in each medium. He was a 12-time Academy Award nominee, for his score and song contributions to films as varied as “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Sophie’s Choice” and a three-time Oscar winner for the score of “The Sting” as well as the score from “The Way We Were” and its title song (with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman). He won four Emmy Awards, four Grammy Awards and a Tony Award for his score to the musical “A Chorus Line.” That musical, which blended bouncy, brassy songs like “One” and “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” with melancholy numbers like “At the Ballet,” also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976.

As recently as last month, Mr. Hamlisch was working on a musical adaptation of the Jerry Lewis comedy “The Nutty Professor,” for which he wrote the score. His press representatives said he was also working on a new Broadway musical called “Gotta Dance,” and had written the score for a coming HBO movie, “Behind the Candelabra,” about the life of Liberace.

According to his biography at his official Web site, Mr. Hamlisch held the title of principal pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony and Pops, the Seattle Symphony and the San Diego Symphony.

In an interview in July, Mr. Hamlisch discussed the emotional investment he put into each piece of music he composed.

“I’m not one of those people who says, ‘I never read reviews,’ because I don’t believe those people,” Mr. Hamlisch said. “I think they read ‘em. These songs are my babies. And I always say, it’s like having a baby in a hospital, taking a Polaroid and going up to someone and saying, ‘What do you think?’ And he goes, ‘I give you a 3.’ That’s what criticism is like. You’ve worked on this thing forever — ‘I give you a 3.’ And it’s part of you. That’s the bargain you’ve made.”

DAVE ITZKOFF
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/marvin-hamlisch-composer-of-a-chorus-line-dies-at-68/?hp

 

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