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Oscar-winning composer was 86 – Variety



Michel Legrand, three-hour Oscar winner and composer of such classic movie song as "Your Windmills", "I Will Wait For You", "You Must Believe in the Spring" and "What are you doing the rest of your life?" , along with the groundbreaking musical score of "The Parrellas of Cherbourg" is dead. He was 86 years old.

Legrand died at home early Saturday in Paris, told his publicist Agence France-Presse. His wife, French actor Macha Meril, was at his side.

The Paris-born Legrand was active in all musical fields and composed classical works, stage musicians, arranging and recording albums, playing jazz piano and leading orchestras in concert as well as scoring for film and television. He once said, "I never resolved on a musical discipline. I love to play, lead, sing and write, and in all styles."

His ca. 1

50 scores include Jacques Demy's 1964 classic "The Parrellas of Cherbourg", a landmark film where the entire dialogue is sung and which one believes to mark the only occurrence in Oscar's history, where a composer was nominated in all three music categories for the same movie (best song, best original score, best musical adaptation). The songs "I will wait for you" and "Watch what Happens", both of which became standards, originated from the "Cherbourg" score.

Legrand earned 13 Oscar nominations in total. He won the song "The Windmills of Your Mind" (1968), the score "Summer of & # 39; 42" (1971) and the song score of "Yentl" (1983). In addition to the three nominations from Cherbourg, other spectacle specifications for "The Thomas Crown Affair" and "The Young Girls of Rochefort" (both 1968) and song nominations for "What are you doing the rest of your life?" 1969), "Pieces of Dreams" (1970), "How do you keep the music going?" (1982) and two songs from "Yentl", which have also gone to standard status: "Papa, can you hear me?" and "The way he makes me feel."

His best known scores are from the 1960s and 70s, including "Ice Station Zebra", "The Go-Between", "Le Mans", "Lady Sings the Blues" "The Three Musketeers , "Orson Welles" "F for False" and "The Other Side of Midnight." His 1980s scores included Louis Malle's "Atlantic City", the James Bond movie "Never Say Never Again" and his only film as author-director and composer, 1989's semi-autobiographical "Five days in June." In the 1990s he collaborated with the trumpet, Miles Davis is on the score of "Dingo" and with director Robert Altman on " Ready to Wear. "

" Cherbourg "was one of 10 films Legrand made with Demy, starting with" Lola "(1961) and" Angels Bay "(1962) and continuing to make the musicians" The Young Girls of Rochefort "and" Peau d 'Ane "(1970) and other films, including" Lady Oscar "(1979).

Legrand occasionally worked on television, earned Emmy nominations for his music for the telephones" Brian & # 39; s Song "(1971) and" A Woman Called Golda "(1982). He scored a dozen more television films and minisaries in the 70s and 80s, including "The Quays of Adventures of Don Quixote", "Cage Without a Key", "The Jesse Owens Story", "Crossings "and the Richard Chamberlain version of" Casanova. "

His most famous work," The Parrellas of Cherbourg ", was adapted to a stage music in 1979 and received stagings in both New York and Paris. His other musicals included "Le Passe-Muraille" (1997) for the Paris scene, which was Tony-nominated "Amour" on Broadway (2002); and West End production of "Marguerite" (2008). He also wrote a ballet, "Liliom" to the Hamburg Ballet in 2011 and an opera, "Dreyfus", which debuted in Nice in 2014.

Legrand won five Grammy Awards, including the year of 1972 ("The Summer Knows" from "Summer of" 42 ") with long-standing business partners, poets Marilyn and Alan Bergman. Legrand wrote dozens of songs with Bergman, especially the songs of "Yentl" plus "Windmills", "What are you doing the rest of your life?" And "How do you keep the music in play?"

He won other Grammys for "Brian's Song", two for his 1975 jazz album "Images" and one for organizing a 1972 album with Sarah Vaughan. He started in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990 and received the Henry Mancini Lifetime Achievement Award from ASCAP in 1998. In 2016, he was appointed a Commander of the Legion d 'Honore, Honorary Honor, France's highest honor.

Almost all the great singer Legrand recorded songs in the last 60 years, including Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Ray Charles, Jack Jones, Lena Horne, Michael Jackson, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minnelli, , Sting, Neil Diamond and opera stars Jessye Norman and Kiri Te Kanawa.

Legrand himself was a productive recording artist and released more than 100 albums in addition to his many movie soundtracks. His 1950s album "I Love Paris", "Holiday in Rome" and "Castles in Spain" were all top 10 hits in the United States

He was also widely recognized as a brilliant jazz pianist. His 1959 album "Legrand Jazz" featured Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Ben Webster and Phil Woods. He later recorded jazz albums with Stan Getz, Stephane Grappelli, Bud Shank, Oscar Peterson, Arturo Sandoval and other artists.

In recent years, Legrand continued to write new music for the concert hall, including concerts for piano, cello, harp and violin. He performed major orchestras including Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Symphony of Washington, D.C., Boston Pops, the Minnesota Orchestra and others.

Legrand was born February 24, 1932, son of the popular French bandleader Raymond Legrand. A child wonderland, he entered the Conservatory in Paris at the age of 11, who emerged in 20 with top honors in composition. He also studied with the legendary Nadia Boulanger and later served as organizer and conductor for the best French stars Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf.

He is survived by his third wife, Meril, whom he married in 2014; and four children. His sister Christiane, who was part of Swingle Singers and sang in "The Parrellas of Cherbourg", died in 2011.


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