Marvin Hamlisch, who died last year at age 68, was known as one of the music world’s all-time great composers. His long list of credits include Broadway’s “A Chorus Line” and the scores to such film classics as “The Way We Were,” “The Sting,” “Ordinary People,” and “Sophie’s Choice.” Most recently HBO aired the Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra,” the last picture Hamlisch scored.
Hamlisch’s final work, however, is an autobiographical children’s book called “Marvin Makes Music,” which he completed shortly before his death.
“It’s his story, it’s his childhood story, and he wanted to inspire young people to continue singing and hearing the music in their mind,” said Hamlisch’s widow, Terre Blair Hamlisch. “Marvin actually did hear music in everything. He heard the sound of a breeze, he heard the note of it. So he heard the note in the trees, he heard the note in the sound of a horn. He heard a note in everything.”
The book tells the true story of Hamlisch, a native New Yorker, auditioning for Juilliard when he was just six years old. His first job was as a rehearsal pianist for “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand, with whom he became lifelong friends. Shortly after that, he was hired by producer Sam Spiegel to play piano at Spiegel’s parties. This connection led to his first film score, “The Swimmer.”
“He brought joy to people and he brought joy to children,” Terre Blair Hamlisch said. “This book is so important for his legacy that this music live on and that the children keep singing it.”
“Marvin Makes Music,” which also includes a CD, is in book stores now.
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