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Michel Legrand, Pianist and Film Composer, Dies at 86



Mr. Legrand celebrated over 50 years of show business in 2010 with a concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that featured Dionne Warwick, George Benson, Melissa Manchester, Patti Page and Jennifer O’Neill (the star of "Summer of" 42 "). He observed his 80th birthday in 2012 at the beginning of the world tour that included performances in France, Ireland, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Denmark and the Netherlands. His schedule last year included performances in London, New York and Tokyo, and he was planning to tour again in 2019.

Michel Jean Legrand was born on Feb. 24, 1932, in Bécon-les-Bruyères, a suburb of Paris, a French father, Raymond Legrand, a composer and actor, and an Armenian mother, the form Marcelle der Mikaelian. From 1

942 to 1949, he studied at the Conservatoire of Paris, where his teachers included the celebrated pianist Nadia Boulanger, before becoming an in-demand arranger, working for French stars like Edith Piaf and Yves Montand.

In 1947, Mr. Legrand recalled in a 2011 interview, he became interested in jazz when he saw the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in concert in Paris ("I was ecstatic"). He would eventually work with Mr. Gillespie and other jazz greats, on albums like "Paris Dizzy Digs" (1953) and, most notably, his own "Legrand Jazz" (1958), for which he has well-known jazz compositions for three different groups of established musicians, one or which included Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bill Evans.

Mr. Legrand worked as an arranger with artists in various genres including the opera singers Natalie Dessay and Anne Sofie von Otter.


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