Composer André Previn, who won four Academy Awards for his work on films like "Porgy & Bess" and "My Fair Lady," has died Thursday morning in his Manhattan home, at 89.
He blurred the boundaries between jazz, pop and classical music and between composing. He was nominated for three Oscars in one year alone , 1961. During his seven decade career, he also earned 10 Grammy Awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, being named honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1967, he became the music director for the Houston Symphony Orchestra and in 1968 took on the role of principal conducted for the London Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Previn wrote or arranged the music for dozens of movies.
Mr Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra
He composed music for films like "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in 1967 as well as 1970's "The Music Lovers. Critics described Mr. Previn as a “wunderkind in a turtleneck” and the “Mickey Mouse maestro” when he was in his 20s and 30s. He was born Andreas Ludwig Priwin on April 6, 1929, in Berlin. He entered the Berlin Conservatory when he was 6and studied with Marcel Dupré at the Paris Conservatory and with the composer and conductor Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, the violinist and composer Joseph Achron and the composer Ernst Toch in Los Angeles.