By Aljean Harmetz | Thompson on Hollywood August 7, 2012 at 7:57PM
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.