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Obit: 'Chorus Line' Composer Marvin Hamlisch Wrote for Film, Theater and TV --and Streisand

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by Aljean Harmetz
August 7, 2012 7:57 PM
1 Comment
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Marvin Hamlisch was born on June 2, 1944.  Viennese Jews, his parents had come to America to escape the Nazis. His father, Max, was an accordionist and bandleader, and Marvin was a musical prodigy.  At the age of seven, he was offered a place at Julliard.  When he left 13 years later, his first job was as a rehearsal pianist for the Broadway musical, “Funny Girl.”  That job began an association and friendship with the musical’s star, Barbra Streisand, that would last for decades and lead in later years to Emmys for HBO’s documentary of Streisand’s 1994 concert tour and, in 2001, for “Barbra Streisand – Timeless.”

In recent years, Hamlisch had a second career as a conductor.  He was currently the principal pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and several others.  Within the last few weeks, according to the Pasadena Symphony president Melinda Shea, he had signed a three-year contract with the symphony.

Hamlisch is survived by his wife Terre Blair. 

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  • sr | August 8, 2012 4:46 PMReply

    As a volunteer at Manor Care Nursing Home in Boynton Beach, FL, in the 80s, I heard I'd missed seeing him on recent visits there to see one of his aunts. Always loved his music and his personality from his many TV show interviews.

    Later, in Thomasville, GA, (just north of Tallahasse, FL, where we'd moved) in the late 1990s, I was thrilled to have the chance to see him perform at a local civic center. He joked with the audience and played his famous pop songs and was a huge hit. I remember his saying, "Driving through town (a small quaint southern one) I was delightfully surprised to see a sign in the window of a local bakery advertising NY bagels," which brought a good laugh. Since that show, I've always looked for him and had it on my bucket list to see him perform live again. Terribly disappointed I'll have to scratch that off my list and that he died so young!

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