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'An incomparable talent': Tributes paid to award-winning composer Andre Previn

The German-American musician had won four Oscars and 10 Grammys during his career.

Obit Andre Previn Andre Previn in 2004 Source: Urs FlueelerKEYSTONE via PA Images

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to Oscar and Grammy-award winning composer Andre Previn who has died aged 89. 

The prolific German-American musician had won four Oscars, 10 Grammys and a Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement honour during his long career. 

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death this morning of our Conductor Emeritus Andre Previn,” the London Symphony Orchestra – where Previn once served as principal conductor – 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.

The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy awards gala, has praised Previn’s “ability to effortlessly combine genres”. 

“Andre was an incomparable talent, and his legacy will live on through his countless compositions,” it said. 

Actor Stephen Fry said: “Farewell, André Previn. He played all the right notes, and usually in the right order. What a life.”

Previn’s life

Born Andreas Ludwig Priwin in Berlin on 6 April 1929, Previn was enrolled at the Berlin’s Conservatory of Music at age six.

The family fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and moved 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. 

During his career in Hollywood, Previn won four Academy Awards for film composing, including for Porgy and Bess (1960) and My Fair Lady (1964). 

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Bands / Composers / Instruments / Musicians / Opera / Orchestra / Records / Singers / Songwriters / Symphonys Andre Previn's during the ISO's 75th Anniversary Concert in June 1979 Source: Keystone Press Agency

However, he left the studio in the 1960s to focus on classical music.

Previn has also served as music director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as the Houston and Pittsburgh Symphonies, and frequently guest conducted worldwide.

Over the years, he has collaborated with musicians such as opera singer Renee Fleming and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. 

“So very saddened by the loss of the great Andre Previn,” tweeted Fleming. 

“The @NYTimes says his music knew no boundaries, but I would say that of his talent and humanity as well.”

Includes reporting by © – AFP 2019

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