Thursday, February 28, 2019, 8:19 p.m.
The golden Hollywood of the fifties and sixties could hardly be understood without its musical pieces. André Previn died this Thursday at the age of 89 at his residence in Manhattan, New York. This was confirmed by his manager, Linda Petrikova, who did not indicate the exact cause of his death. With a long career behind him, the pianist, composer and conductor gained worldwide fame as a result of his compositions and arrangements for more than a hundred films. Not in vain, he received thirteen Oscar nominations, of which he received four statuettes for his work in ‘Gigi’ (1958), ‘Porgy and Bess’ (1959), ‘Sweet Irma’ (1963) and ‘My Fair Lady’. ‘ (1964). He also maintains an unprecedented record: having received the highest number of nominations in one year. It was in 1960, when he was a candidate for the awards for best soundtrack, best song and best original soundtrack for his work in ‘Suena el Telephone’, ‘Pepe’ and ‘El fuego y la Palabra’, respectively.
Born on April 6, 1929 in Berlin, into a Jewish family, he entered the conservatory at the age of six. In 1938, fleeing the Nazi regime, his family emigrated to Paris and later to the United States. After receiving nationality, he settled in Los Angeles and, as a result of his work in different radio stations as well as his taste for jazz, in 1948 he began his film career, arranging and composing music for films in the Mecca of Cinema. . It was then that he began to work on films such as ‘Reason for Alarm’ (1951), ‘The Beauty of Moscow’ (1957) or ‘Kiss Me, Fool’ (1964). Starting in the sixties, he began to focus on his role as conductor. He had already been at the helm of the Los Angeles Philharmonic when in 1967 he succeeded John Barbirolli at the helm of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and a year later he was named principal conductor of the London Symphony, an institution that said today in a statement that it is “deeply saddened” by his death.
Described as one of the best and most complete musicians of the 20th century, Previn performed alongside jazz stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, in addition to composing musicals, orchestral pieces, and two operas – ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, based on the work of Tennessee Williams. , and ‘Brief Encounter’, based on David Lean’s film – and several concerts for his fifth and last wife, the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Previn was married five times, one of them to the actress Mia Farrow – his third wife and whom he divorced in 1975. The two had three children together and adopted three others, including Soon-Yi Previn. He disowned her when she ended up marrying Woody Allen.