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Marvin Hamlisch (1944)

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  Summary  

Marvin Frederick Hamlisch is an American composer. He is one of only thirteen people to have been awarded Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and a Tony . He is also one of only two people to EGOT and also win a Pulitzer Prize . Hamlisch has also won two Golden Globes.

  Biography  

 Early life and career
Hamlisch was born in New York City to Viennese Jewish parents: Lilly Schachter and Max Hamlisch. His father was an accordionist and bandleader. Hamlisch was a child prodigy, and by age five he began mimicking music he heard on the radio on the piano. A few months before he turned seven, in 1951, he was accepted into what is now the Juilliard School Pre-College Division. His first job was as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. Shortly after that, he was hired by producer Sam Spiegel to play piano at Spiegel's parties. This connection led to his first film score, The Swimmer. His favorite musicals growing up were My Fair Lady, Gypsy, West Side Story, and Bye Bye Birdie.

Hamlisch attended Queens College. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967.

 Film and composer
Hamlisch is the composer of many motion picture scores, including his Oscar-winning score and song for The Way We Were and his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music for The Sting, for which he received a third Oscar. His prolific output of scores for films include original compositions and/or musical adaptations for Sophie's Choice, Ordinary People, The Swimmer, Three Men And A Baby, Ice Castles, Take The Money And Run, Bananas, Save The Tiger and his latest effort The Informant! starring Matt Damon, and directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Although Liza Minnelli's debut album included a song he wrote in his teens, his first hit did not come until he was 21 years old. This song, "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows", was sung by Lesley Gore. His first film score was for The Swimmer, although he had done some music for films as early as 1965. Later he wrote music for several Woody Allen early films, such as Take the Money and Run. In addition, Hamlisch co-wrote the song "California Nights" with Howard Liebling, which was recorded by Lesley Gore for her 1967 hit album of the same name. The Bob Crewe-produced single peaked at number 16 on Billboard's Hot 100 in March 1967, two months after Gore had performed the song on the Batman TV series, in which she guest-starred as an accomplice to Julie Newmar's Catwoman.

Among his better known works during the 1970s were adaptations of Scott Joplin's ragtime music for the motion picture The Sting, including its theme song, "The Entertainer". He had great success with The Way We Were in 1974, winning two of his three 1974 Academy Awards. He also won four Grammy Awards in 1974, two for "The Way We Were." He co-wrote "Nobody Does It Better" for the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me with his then-girlfriend Carole Bayer Sager. He also wrote the orchestral/disco score for the film, which was re-recorded for the album. The song went on to be nominated for an Oscar in 1977.

In the 1980s he had success with the scores for Ordinary People and Sophie's Choice . He also received an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for the film version of A Chorus Line.

In 2003 Hamlisch appeared in a cameo role in the film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

 Stage
He composed the score for the 1975 Broadway musical A Chorus Line, for which he won both a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and They're Playing Our Song, loosely based on his relationship with Carole Bayer Sager. His other stage work has been met with mixed reception.

At the beginning of the 1980s, his romantic relationship with Bayer Sager ended, but their songwriting relationship continued. The 1983 musical Jean Seberg, on the tragic life of the actress, failed in its London production at the UK's National Theatre and never played in the US. In 1986, Smile was a mixed success, but he did gain some note for the song Disneyland. The musical version of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl closed after only 188 performances, although he received a Drama Desk nomination, for Outstanding Music.

 Conductor

Hamlisch was Musical Director and arranger of Barbra Streisand’s 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special, "Barbra Streisand: The Concert", for which he received two of his Emmys.

Currently, Marvin Hamlisch holds the position of Principal Pops Conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra,the San Diego Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and The Pasadena Symphony and Pops.

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  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
The Tanker 04:24 1977
Anya 03:19 1977
Mojave Club 02:13 1977
Ride to Atlantis 03:28 1977
Bond 77 04:19 1977
Nobody Does It Better 03:29 1977
Conclusion 01:37 1977
Eastern Lights 03:22 1977
The Pyramids 01:37 1977

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Marvin Hamlisch", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.