NEW YORK (AFP) – Tributes poured in Thursday (Feb 28) for Andre Previn, the multifaceted artist renowned for his mastery of classical music as well as jazz, who has died at 89 years old.
The prolific German-American musician with four Oscars, 10 Grammys and a coveted Kennedy Centre honour was known for his broad repertoire, working as a jazz pianist, film composer, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death this morning of our Conductor Emeritus Andre Previn,” the London Symphony Orchestra said in a statement.
“He will be hugely missed by everyone at the LSO and remembered with great affection.
“May he always play all the right notes in the right order.”
Born in Berlin on April 6, 1929, Previn’s father enrolled him at the German capital’s Conservatory of Music at age six upon realising his son had perfect pitch.
The family fled Nazi Germany in 1939, moving to Los Angeles where Previn’s great-uncle was the music director for Universal Studios.
An accomplished jazz pianist, he began working at MGM in 1946 while still in high school, launching an illustrious career in film composing that won him four Academy Awards for his work on films, including 1964’s My Fair Lady.
But he left the studio in the 1960s to focus on classical music; in addition to the LA Philharmonic he served as music director of the Houston and Pittsburgh Symphonies, and frequently guest conducted worldwide.
His mercurial tastes for music also applied to women: Previn married five times, most famously to actress Mia Farrow, with whom he had three biological children.
He also adopted three more children with Farrow, including a daughter Soon-Yi who married film director Woody Allen in 1997. The marriage resulted in a public feud with Farrow, who had had a long relationship with Allen.
“See you in the Morning beloved Friend,” tweeted Farrow, who posted several photos of the pair together. “May you rest in glorious symphonies.”
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