The conductor, composer and pianist André Previn has died at the age of 89 at his Manhattan home. An 11-time Grammy Award and four-time Oscar winner, he was a dazzlingly versatile artist who moved easily between classical music, jazz, film and pop.

André Previn. Photo © A. P. Mutter

Born Andreas Ludwig Prewin on April 6, 1929 in Berlin, he entered the Berlin Conservatory at the age of six after his parents realised he had perfect pitch. But Previn’s father, who was Jewish, soon moved the family to Paris in 1938 to escape Nazi Germany. The family remained in Paris for about a year until relocating once again to Los Angeles, where Previn studied composition with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. His musical interests were varied and he pursued all of them with a similar focus – he became highly skilled at jazz piano, playing with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, and occasionally conducted the California Youth Symphony. As a high school student, Previn began to arrange and compose film scores for MGM, which later saw him contracted as a composer-conductor. Over the course of his career, he would score, play in or conduct more than...

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