The Kennedy Center

Marvin Hamlisch

Video and Audio

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    Marvin Hamlisch: on his career

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    Marvin Hamlisch: on what he's most proud of

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    Marvin Hamlisch: on what Pops means to him

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    Marvin Hamlisch: on composing, conducting, and performing

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    Backstage with the NSO: More with Marvin

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    Understanding the Music: Porter - the Cole Porter style

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    Broadway Up Close and Personal: Marvin Hamlisch


Marvin Hamlisch (June 2, 1944–August 6, 2012) lived a life in music notable for its great versatility as well as substance.

As composer, Hamlisch won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, three Golden Globe awards, and the Pulitzer Prize.

For Broadway he composed his groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, which received the Pulitzer Prize, and other shows as well, including They're Playing Our Song, The Goodbye Girl, and Sweet Smell of Success.

He was the composer of many motion picture scores including his Oscar-winning score and song for The Way We Were and his adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for The Sting, for which he received a third Oscar. His prolific output of scores for films include original compositions and/or musical adaptations for Sophie's Choice, Ordinary People, The Swimmer, Three Men And A Baby, Ice Castles, Take The Money And Run, Bananas, Save The Tiger, and The Informant!, starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Marvin Hamlisch held the position of principal pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony Pops, Seattle Symphony, and San Diego Symphony. For 11 seasons, from 2000 to 2011, he was the NSO Principal Pops Conductor. During his more than 30 years of appearing with the NSO, he was with the Orchestra in some 250 performances at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, the U.S. Capitol, and the White House.

Mr. Hamlisch was Musical Director and arranger of Barbra Streisand's 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special, Barbra Streisand: The Concert (for which he received two of his Emmys).

Hamlisch was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and Queens College (where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree). He believed in the power of music to bring people together. "Music can 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 widening communication as much as I can."

His most recent projects included work on a new musical called Gotta Dance, the score for a stage-musical adaptation of the Jerry Lewis comedy The Nutty Professor, and the music for a film about Liberace, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.
Marvin Hamlisch


  • "Take Me to Christmas Past"
  • "The Way We Were"
  • A Chorus Line
  • They're Playing Our Song
  • Capitol Revue
  • Irving Berlin Medley
  • Salute to Cole Porter
  • "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows"
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Additional Resources