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Oscar winner composer was 86 – Variety



Michel Legrand, three-time Oscar winner and composer of classic movie songs like "The windmills of your mind", "I'll wait for you", "You have to believe in spring" and "What are you going to do the rest? of your life? ", Along with the seminal musical score for" The umbrellas of Cherbourg ", has died. He was 86.

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

Born in Paris, Legrand has worked in all areas of music and has composed classical works, stage music, arranged and recorded albums, played jazz pianos and concerted orchestras for films and television. He once said, "I never chose music discipline. I love to play, conduct, sing and write in all styles. "

Among his more than 1

50 films is Jacques Demy's classic" Umbrellas of Cherbourg "(1964), a milestone film in which all dialogues are sung and believed. The only example in Oscar history was a composer in all three Music categories nominated 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 have become standards, have emerged from the "Cherbourg" score.

Legrand received a total of 13 Oscar nominations. He won for the song "The Windmills of Your Mind" (1968), the score "Summer of 42" (1971) and the song score for "Yentl" (1983). In addition to the three "Cherbourg" nominations were other nominations 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 hold the music?" (1982) and two songs by "Yentl" that are also standard: "Dad, Can You Hear Me Me?" And "How he feels me ".

His most famous scores date back to the 1960s and '70s, including "Ice Station Zebra," "The Go-Between," "Le Mans," "Lady Sings the Blues," "The Three Musketeers," Orson Welles, "F for Fake and The Other Side of Midnight. His 1980s include Louis Malles Atlantic City, the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again, and his sole film as author and director as well as composer. autobiographical "Five Days in June." In the 1990s, he collaborated on trumpet with Miles Davis in the score for "Dingo" and director Robert Altman in "Ready to Wear."

"Cherbourg" was one of 10 films, which Legrand shot with Demy, they started with "Lola" (1961) and "Bay of Angels" (1962) and then did the musicals "The Young Girls of Rochefort" and "Peau d & # 39; Ane" (1970) as well Other films, including "Lady Oscar." (1979).

Legrand occasionally worked on television and received Emmy nominations f his music for the television films "Brian's Song" (1971) and "A Woman Called Golda" (1982). In the 70s and 80s he scored a dozen television and miniseries, including "The Adventures of Don Quixote," "Cage Without Key," "The Jesse Owens Story," "Crossings," and the Richard Chamberlain version of "Casanova. "

His most famous work," The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ", was rebuilt into a stage musical in 1979 and received productions in New York and Paris. Among his other musicals was "Le Passe-Muraille" (1997) for the Parisian stage, from which Tony received the "Amour" on Broadway (2002); and the West End production of "Marguerite" (2008). He also wrote a ballet, "Liliom" for the 2011 Hamburg Ballet, and an opera, "Dreyfus", which debuted in 2014 in Nice.

Legrand won five Grammys, including 1972's Song of the Year ("The Summer Knows" from "Summer of & # 42;") with longtime collaborators, lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman, and Legrand's dozen songs Bergmans, especially the songs for "Yentl" plus "Windmills," "What do you do for the rest of your life?" And "How do you keep the music?"

He won other Grammys for "Brian's Song." ", Two for his 1975 jazz album" Images "and one for arranging an album with Sarah Vaughan in 1972. He was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 1990 and received the 1998 Henry Mancini Lifetime Achievement Award from ASCAP in 2016 he was appointed Commander of the Legion d'honneur, the highest honor of France.

Almost every great singer The last 60 years recorded Legrand songs, including Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Ray Charles, Jack Jones, Lena Ho Michael Jackson, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minnelli, Sting, Neil Diamond, and operas Jessye Norman and Kiri Te Kanawa

Legrand himself was a prolific record artist, releasing more than 100 albums in addition to his numerous film scores. His 50s albums "I Love Paris", "Holiday in Rome" and "Castles in Spain" were all top 10 hits in the US.

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

In recent years, while continuing to perform, Legrand has written new music for the concert hall, including concertos for piano, cello, harp and violin. He directed large orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony of Washington, DC, Boston Pops, the Minnesota Orchestra, and others.

Legrand was born on February 24, 1932, the son of popular French bandleader Raymond Legrand. As a child prodigy, he entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of 11 and was awarded at the age of 20 years with high-caliber compositions. He also studied with the legendary Nadia Boulanger and later served as an arranger and conductor of French top 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 one of the Swingle Singers and sang in "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," died in 2011.


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