Marvin Hamlisch

June 2, 1944—August 6, 2012

As composer, Marvin Hamlisch won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, three Golden Globe awards, and the Pulitzer Prize (won by A Chorus Line). Only Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers have won a “PEGOT” (P.E.G.O.T. = Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony awards).

For Broadway, Hamlisch wrote the music for his groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, as well as They’re Playing Our Song, The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success. Additional theatrical scores include Jean Seberg (1983) and Nutty Professor Musical (2012).

He was the composer of more than forty motion picture scores including his Oscar-winning score and song for The Way We Were and his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music for The Sting, for which he received a third Oscar. His prolific output of scores for films include original compositions and/or musical adaptations for Sophie’s Choice, Ordinary People, The Swimmer, Three Men and a Baby, Ice Castles, Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Save the Tiger and The Informant!, starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh.

At the time of his passing, he had just finished his last musical score for film, Liberace—Behind The Candelabra. Directed by Soderbergh and starring Michael Douglas and Damon, the movie was shown at the 2013 Cannes Festival and later aired on HBO to great reviews. It went on to win several Emmys including Best Actor for Douglas.

Hamlisch was Musical Director and arranger of Barbra Streisand’s 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special, Barbra Streisand: The Concert (for which he received two of his Emmys).

Hamlisch held the position of principal pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and Pops, Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, The Buffalo Philharmonic and The National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. At the time of his death he was preparing to assume responsibilities as Principal Pops Conductor for The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Hamlisch was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and Queens College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. He believed in the power of music to bring people together.

Share article

Songs include

“If He Really Knew Me,” They’re Playing Our Song

“Nothing,” A Chorus Line

“One,” A Chorus Line

“Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows,” Ski Party (the film)

“The Entertainer,” The Sting (the film)

Score, The Way We Were (the film)

“They’re Playing Our Song,” They’re Playing Our Song

“What I Did for Love,” A Chorus Line