Remembering Andre Previn

April 6, 1929 – February 28, 2019

 

A tribute to the brilliant and versatile pianist

Pianist, composer and conductor Andre Previn passed away on February 28, 2019 at the age of 89.

Born in Berlin, Germany on April 6, 1929, Previn and his family fled Germany in 1938, settling in Los Angeles.

The multi-talented Andre Previn had three overlapping music careers.

The great nephew of Charles Previn (music director for Universal), Previn was a brilliant pianist from an early age, writing and playing piano for MGM starting in 1946 when he was 17 and still in high school.

Previn, who worked for MGM for 15 years, wrote over 50 film scores in his career and won four Academy Awards.

He was the main conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra during 1968-79, music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra during 1976-84 and of the Los Angeles Philharmonic during 1985-89.

In addition to all of that, Previn was active as a swing and bop-based jazz pianist, making many recordings starting when he was 16 in 1945 with quite a few albums recorded during 1945-64 and 1989-95 and up to 2007; he was also the pianist on Shelly Manne’s best-selling album of jazz interpretations of the songs from My Fair Lady.

Here is Andre Previn (after an excellent introduction) performing in several different roles including swinging “Just In Time” with a trio.

-Scott Yanow