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André Previn, Award-Winning Composer and Conductor, Dies at 89

Among his many achievements, Previn composed the music for the Broadway musical Coco in addition to winning Oscars for his work on film musicals like Gigi and My Fair Lady.

André Previn has died at the age of 89.
(© Bert Verhoeff / Wikimedia Commons)

André Previn, Oscar-winning film composer, Tony-nominated Broadway composer, and symphony orchestra conductor, died Thursday at his home in Manhattan, according to his manager. He was 89.

Born in Berlin on April 6, 1929, Previn and his family fled Nazi Germany to Paris in 1938, and then a year later immigrated to Los Angeles. He started out his career as a jazz musician, and eventually became a prolific film composer and conductor, composing original scores for films like It's Always Fair Weather, Bad Day at Black Rock (1956), and Sidney Lumet's adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962). He won Oscars for his work on film musicals Gigi (1958), Porgy and Bess (1959), and My Fair Lady (1964).

Previn received a Tony nomination in 1970 for his music for Coco, a musical about Coco Chanel starring Katharine Hepburn, featuring lyrics and a book by Alan Jay Lerner.

He was also steadily active in classical music, becoming chief conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra in 1967 and principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1968 before tenures at the Pittsburgh Symphony, London's Royal Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.