Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 June 2019

Oscar-winning composer Andre Previn dies at 89

The German-American musician fled Nazi Germany in 1939

Kennedy Center honouree Andre Previn is greeted by actress and former wife Mia Farrow in 1998. Reuters
Kennedy Center honouree Andre Previn is greeted by actress and former wife Mia Farrow in 1998. Reuters

Tributes poured in Thursday for Andre Previn, the multifaceted artist renowned for his mastery of classical music and jazz, who has died at 89 years old.

The prolific German-American musician with four Oscars, 10 Grammys and a coveted Kennedy Centre honour was known for his broad repertoire.

He was as a jazz pianist, film composer, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the death this morning of our conductor emeritus Andre Previn," the London Symphony Orchestra said. "He will be hugely missed by everyone at the LSO and remembered with great affection.

"May he always play all the right notes in the right order."

Previn was born in Berlin on April 6, 1929. His father enrolled him at the German capital's Conservatory of Music at the age of six after realising his son had perfect pitch.

The family fled Nazi Germany in 1939, moving to Los Angeles where Previn's great-uncle was the music director for Universal Studios.

An accomplished jazz pianist, Previn began working at MGM in 1946 while still in high school, launching an illustrious career in film composing that won him four Academy Awards for his work on films, including My Fair Lady in 1964.

But he left the studio in the 1960s to focus on classical music. As well as the LA Philharmonic, he served as music director of the Houston and Pittsburgh symphonies, and frequently conducted worldwide.

His tastes for music also applied to women. Previn married five times, most famously to actress Mia Farrow, with whom he had three biological children.

He also adopted three more children with Farrow, including a daughter Soon-Yi who married film director Woody Allen in 1997. The marriage resulted in a public feud with Farrow, who had had a long relationship with Allen.

"See you in the morning beloved friend," tweeted Farrow, who posted several photos of the pair together. "May you rest in glorious symphonies."

Updated: March 1, 2019 12:03 AM