Marvin Hamlisch, composer
of "The Way We Were" passed away at the age of 68.
to Hamlisch Wins Acclaim
Barbra Sings at Marvin
late Marvin Hamlisch
was eulogized on
September 18 at New
York's Julliard School
by performers from the
worlds of Broadway,
film and music.
Barbra Streisand was
among the many who
lifted their voices in
song at the private
service. She offered
her personal tribute
by performing "The Way
We Were" (indisputably
"Through the Eyes of
Love" (the Hamlisch
theme from the film
Ice Castles). Those in
attendance rose to
their feet at the
conclusion of her
to press reports.
Other musical tributes
of "If You Really Knew
Me" from the Hamlisch
Playing Our Song and
Does It Better" from
the film, The Spy Who
Pearl Gabel for the NY
August 7, 2012
Hamlisch, a true
musical genius and one
of the greatest
collaborators ever to
work with Barbra
Streisand passed away
on August 6 at his
home in L.A. He was
Hamlisch composed the
music for two
Streisand films: "The
Mirror Has Two Faces"
and "The Way We Were"
For the latter,
Hamlisch won two
Oscars, a Golden Globe
and a Grammy.
Hamlisch was in the pit when Barbra appeared in "Funny Girl" on Broadway
in 1964. He was also her conductor and arranger during her 1994 and 2000
Hamlisch Talks Career, Streisand
In 2009, Marvin Hamlisch gave an extensive with the PBS affiliate in Seattle. The discussion spanned the breadth of his career. And of course, Hamlisch spoke about "The Way We Were" and his prolific collaborations with Barbra Streisand.
Barbra said it best during that 1994 tour: "He's won Academy Awards, Grammy's, Tony's and the Pulitzer Prize for "A Chorus Line"...so he doesn't need this job."
Indeed, like Barbra, Hamlisch was one of the few artists to have achieved "EGOT"
Barbra Streisand remembered Marvin Hamlisch this morning saying,
"I’m devastated. He was my dear friend. He’s been in my life
ever since the first day I met him in 1963, when he was my rehearsal
pianist for “Funny Girl.” He played at my wedding in 1998… and recently
for me at a benefit for women’s heart disease.
"The world will remember Marvin for his brilliant musical accomplishments,
from “A Chorus Line” to “The Way We Were,” and so many others, but when I
think of him now, it was his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity, and
delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around. Just last
night, I was trying to reach him, to tell him how much I loved him, and
that I wanted to use an old song of his, that I had just heard for the
first time. He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a
beautiful human being. I will truly miss him.”
Alan & Marilyn Bergman also remembered their
"Way We Were" co-writer today:
"He was more than our collaborator. He was
our beloved friend. He was family. The world will miss his music, his
humor, his genius. We will miss him every day for the rest of our lives."
On August 11, Barbra spoke more about Marvin
Hamlisch to Susan King of the L.A. Times:.
Barbra Streisand had written herself a
note to call her good friend Marvin Hamlisch Monday evening.
The composer-conductor was always difficult to reach, she recalled in an
interview Friday afternoon. So after Streisand had stopped working around
11 p.m. Monday she called her friends, the lyricists Marilyn and Alan
Bergman, to find out where Hamlisch was at the moment.
The Bergmans told her they hadn’t been able to reach Hamlisch for a few
days, so she put the call on hold.
The next morning Streisand was devastated to hear that Hamlisch had died
at 68 after a short illness. Realizing he had died around the same time
she was trying to reach him, she said she thought "Oh, God.”
Streisand had much she wanted to tell Hamlisch, whom she met when he was a
rehearsal pianist on her 1964 Broadway breakout hit “Funny Girl,” and who
had won two Oscars for composing the score and writing the title tune,
with the Bergmans, to Streisand’s 1973 film, “The Way We Were.”
“I wanted to tell him that I decided to sing ‘The Way We Were’ for a
concert in Brooklyn [in October] for my new tour. And I was going back to
his arrangement from the movie. I had never done that. I am always looking
for new ways to do songs to make them fresh for me.”
She also wanted to tell him how thrilled she was with “Any Moment Now,” a
song Hamlisch had written with Howard Ashman for the 1986 musical,
“Smile.” A friend of Streisand’s had recently sent her the tune.
“I was going to tell him that I am doing it on my next album -- a duets
album that won’t be released for a while. I heard it and said this is
going to be a great duet with somebody from the theater -- it’s
Streisand is dedicating her latest CD, "Release Me," to Hamlisch. The CD
is set for a September release and will feature a photo of the two that
was shot New Year’s Eve 1993.
Streisand said that she and Hamlisch were like two peas in a pod from the
moment they met nearly 50 years ago.
“When I was with Marvin it felt like I was home,” she said. “We just hit
it off and we became friends. We were so alike -- a passion for work and
He was a man who loved food, laughter and the New York Yankees, she
recalled. On their concert tours, she said, “Marvin had this little gizmo
that he showed me that gave him the most recent baseball scores.”
Hamlisch also eased Streisand's nerves about returning to the concert
stage in 1993 after 27 years. “I had sung for fundraisers,” she said.
“When I decided to go back, it had to be with Marvin. Marvin got me
through all of that fear.”
Streisand, the producer-writer-director, hired Hamlisch to score her 1996
film, “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” And he performed at her wedding to actor
James Brolin in her Malibu home in 1998.
“The wedding was put together in 2 1/2 weeks,” she said. “He was
rehearsing at a nearby school and we were talking on the phone because I
was doing preparations for the wedding.”
She last saw Hamlisch in November at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors
“I hadn’t seen him in a while,” she said. “I was worried about him because
he didn’t look well. He seemed very tired. I sat him down next to me.”
Streisand, who opens a concert tour in October at the Barclay Center in
Brooklyn, is planning a tribute to Hamlisch for the concert.
“He was the kindest, most thoughtful, generous human being,” she said.
And like any good friend, she said, “he never forgot my birthday.”
Our original profile of Marvin Hamlisch,
which we first published here in 2005, is presented below.
Marvin Hamlisch is one of the most award-winning musical
composers to have been associated with Barbra Streisand's
equally impressive career. In summing up his accomplishments,
Barbra said it best during the 1994 tour of "The Concert":
"He's won Academy Awards, Grammy's, Tony's and the Pulitzer
Prize for "A Chorus Line"...so he doesn't need this job."
But of course,
there were to be three other jobs Barbra would later give Marvin
Hamlisch. He was selected to adapt the music for Barbra's
film, "The Mirror Has Two Faces" in 1996. He was called back
again, this time as a friend, to be Barbra's personal music
conductor/arranger during her private wedding ceremony to James
Brolin in 1998. And finally, Barbra chose Marvin as the
conductor and arranger for her next tour, "Timeless" in Las
Vegas and Australia, 2000.
course, is best known as the composer, along with Alan and
Marilyn Bergman of the quintessential Streisand anthem of the
1970s, "The Way We Were" picking up an Oscar along the way.
Hamlisch can be found on his own tour, performing in various
concerts, one of which is entitled, fittingly,
"The Music of Barbra
Streisand." He also serves as the principal pops
conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC.
Hamlisch is also one
of the more prominent graduates of the Julliard School of Music.
And in his own words:
make a difference. There is a global nature to music, which has
the potential to bring all people together. Music is truly an
international language, and I hope to contribute by expanding
this communication as much as I can.”