Composer André Previn Dead at 89

André Previn—composer, arranger, musical director, and pianist—has died, as The New York Times reports. A musical polymath who made a name for himself in both film composition and jazz music at a young age, Previn was a genre agnostic who helmed hundreds of different recordings in his lifetime, earning him four Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards, and one Lifetime Achievement Grammy. (Previn is also the only composer in history to be nominated for three Oscars in one year.)

Born in Berlin in 1929, Previn got his start composing for MGM while he was still in high school. For over a decade-and-a-half, he wrote what he later deemed “commercial cornball music,” honing his skills before he departed the studio system to focus on his burgeoning classical career. As a jazz pianist, he backed and performed alongside artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Benny Carter, Shelly Manne, and many more. Previn also served as conductor and musical director of several symphonies over the course of his career, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In his personal life, Previn was married five times, most notably to actress Mia Farrow (his third wife). He had several children across these marriages and adopted three children during his marriage to Farrow. (One of those adoptees was Korean-born Soon-Yi Previn, who later married Woody Allen following his much-publicized breakup with Farrow.)

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