Michel Legrand

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Michel Legrand
Michel Legrand Cabourg 2015.jpg
Legrand in 2015 at the Cabourg Film Festival
Born
Michel Jean Legrand

(1932-02-24)24 February 1932
Paris, France
Died26 January 2019(2019-01-26) (aged 86)
OccupationFilm score composer
Jazz pianist
Years active1946–2019
Awards Academy Award for Best Original Song
1968 The Thomas Crown Affair
Academy Award for Best Original Score
1971 Summer of '42
1983 Yentl
BAFTA Award for Best Film Music
1971 Summer of '42
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song
1968 The Thomas Crown Affair
AFI Award Best Original Score
1991 Dingo

Michel Jean Legrand (French pronunciation:  [miʃɛl ləɡʁɑ̃] ; 24 February 1932 – 26 January 2019) was a French musical composer, arranger, conductor, and jazz pianist. [1] Legrand was a prolific composer, having written over 200 film and television scores, in addition to many songs. [2] His scores for the films of French New Wave director Jacques Demy, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), earned Legrand his first Academy Award nominations. Legrand won his first Oscar for the song "The Windmills of Your Mind" from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). [3]

Contents

Life and career

Legrand was born in Paris [4] to his father, Raymond Legrand, who was himself a conductor and composer, [5] and his mother, Marcelle Ter-Mikaëlian, who was the sister of conductor Jacques Hélian. [6] Raymond and Marcelle were married in 1929. [6] His mother was of Armenian descent. [7]

Legrand composed more than two hundred film and television scores. [8] He won three Oscars [9] and five Grammys. [10] He studied music at the Conservatoire de Paris from age 11, working with, among others, Nadia Boulanger [10] and graduated with top honors as both a composer and a pianist. [8] He burst upon the international music scene at 22 when his album I Love Paris became a surprise hit. He established his name in the United States by working with such jazz stars as Miles Davis and Stan Getz. [1] His sister Christiane Legrand was a member of The Swingle Singers and his niece Victoria Legrand is a member of the dream pop band Beach House. [11]

Legrand composed music for Jacques Demy's films The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1966), and appeared and performed in Agnès Varda's Cléo from 5 to 7 (1961). He also composed music for Joseph Losey's Eva (1962), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) (which features "The Windmills of Your Mind"), Ice Station Zebra (1968), The Picasso Summer (1969), The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (1970), The Go-Between (1971), Summer of '42 (1971), Clint Eastwood's Breezy (1973), The Three Musketeers (1973), Orson Welles's last-completed film F for Fake (1974) and would later compose the score for Welles's posthumously-released movie The Other Side of the Wind (2018). He also composed the score for Yentl (1983), as well as the film score for Louis Malle's film Atlantic City (1980). His instrumental version of the theme from Brian's Song charted 56th in 1972 on the Billboard's pop chart. [12]

Legrand died of sepsis, [13] [14] during the night of 25-26 January 2019, at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine, where he had been hospitalized for two weeks for a pulmonary infection. His funeral was held in Paris at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral on 1 February 2019. [15] He was interred at the Père Lachaise Cemetery. [16] He remained active until his death and had concerts scheduled to take place in the spring. [17]

Musical theatre

In 1997, Legrand composed the score for the musical Le Passe-muraille , with a book by Didier Van Cauwelaert. It premiered on Broadway in 2002 as Amour and was translated into English by Jeremy Sams and was directed by James Lapine. [18] This musical was his Broadway debut [19] and he was nominated for a Tony Award in 2003 for Best Score. [20] Later he recorded Legrand Affair with Melissa Errico, [20] a 100-piece symphony orchestra that included songs with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. [21]

The world premiere of the new musical Marguerite from Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, the creators of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon , included music by Michel Legrand and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Marguerite is set during World War II in occupied Paris, and was inspired by the romantic novel La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils. It premiered in May 2008 at the Haymarket Theatre, London and was directed by Jonathan Kent. [22]

Discography

Awards

Legrand has won three Oscars (from 13 nominations), five Grammys, and was nominated for an Emmy. His first Academy Award win was in 1969 for the song "The Windmills of Your Mind", followed with the Academy Award for his music for Summer of ’42 in 1972 and for Yentl in 1984. [9]

Following are a selection of the awards and nominations with which Legrand's works have been honored:

Academy Award awards and nominations

Source: AllMovie [23]

Golden Globe awards and nominations

Source: All Movie [23]

Grammy Award awards and nominations

Source: Grammy.com [29]

Theatre nominations

Emmy Award nominations

Fennecus nominations

Apex nominations

Australian Film Institute Award

Prix Moliere Award

ASCAP

Golden Eagle Award

Others

Documentary

"Michel Legrand, let the music play", directed by Gregory Monro in 2018

Related Research Articles

The Academy Award for Best Original Score is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer. Some pre-existing music is allowed, though, but a contending film must include a minimum of original music. This minimum since 2020 is established in 60% of the music, which is raised to 80% for sequels and franchise films. Fifteen scores are shortlisted before nominations are announced.

<i>The Umbrellas of Cherbourg</i> 1964 film by Jacques Demy

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a 1964 musical romantic drama film written and directed by Jacques Demy and starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo. The music was composed by Michel Legrand. The film dialogue is entirely sung as recitative, including casual conversation, and is sung-through, or through-composed like some operas and stage musicals.

The 18th Annual Grammy Awards were held February 28, 1976, and were broadcast live on American television. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the year 1975.

Golden Raspberry Awards Award presented in recognition of the worst in film

The Golden Raspberry Awards is a parody award show honoring the worst of cinematic under-achievements. Co-founded by UCLA film graduates and film industry veterans John J. B. Wilson and Mo Murphy, the Razzie Awards' satirical annual ceremony has preceded its polar opposite, the coveted Academy Awards, for four decades. The term raspberry is used in its irreverent sense, as in "blowing a raspberry". The statuette itself is a golf ball-sized raspberry atop a mangled Super 8mm film reel spray-painted gold, with an estimated street value of $4.97. The Golden Raspberry Foundation have claimed that the award "encourages well-known filmmakers and top notch performers to own their bad."

Thomas Newman American composer

Thomas Montgomery Newman is an American composer best known for his many film scores. In a career that has spanned over four decades, he has scored numerous classics including The Player, The Shawshank Redemption, Cinderella Man, American Beauty, The Green Mile, In the Bedroom, Angels in America, Finding Nemo, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, WALL-E, the James Bond films Skyfall, Spectre, and the war film 1917.

The Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition has been awarded since 1960. The award is presented to the composer of an original piece of music, first released during the eligibility year. In theory, any style of music is eligible for this category, but winning compositions are usually in the jazz or film score genres.

Alan Silvestri American composer

Alan Anthony Silvestri is an American composer and conductor of film and television scores. His credits include the Back to the Future film series, Forrest Gump, Lilo & Stitch, The Polar Express, and several Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including the Avengers films. He is a two-time Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee, and a three-time Saturn Award and two-time Primetime Emmy Award recipient.

Dave Grusin American composer, arranger, producer, and pianist

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Norman Gimbel was an American lyricist of popular songs, television and movie themes. He wrote the lyrics for songs including "Killing Me Softly with His Song", "Ready to Take a Chance Again" and "Canadian Sunset". He also wrote English-language lyrics for many international hits, including "Sway", "Summer Samba", "The Girl from Ipanema", "How Insensitive", "Drinking-Water", "Meditation", "I Will Wait for You" and "Watch What Happens". Of the movie themes he co-wrote, five were nominated for Academy Awards and/or Golden Globe Awards, including "It Goes Like It Goes", from the film Norma Rae, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for 1979. Gimbel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984.

Jorge Calandrelli

Jorge Calandrelli is an Argentinian-born composer, arranger and conductor known for his work with Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Arturo Sandoval, Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Bennett, Elton John, Lady Gaga and John Legend. He has won 6 Grammy Awards and has received 28 nominations. He won the Latin Grammy Award for Producer of the Year and Best Instrumental Album for his work on A Time for Love by Arturo Sandoval in 2010.

Papa, Can You Hear Me? 1984 single by Barbra Streisand

"Papa, Can You Hear Me?" is a 1983 song composed by Michel Legrand with lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman, for Barbra Streisand in the title role of Yentl. The song was nominated for Best Original Song at the 56th Academy Awards; Streisand's longtime friend Donna Summer performed it during the ceremonies. The song peaked at No.26 at Billboard's Adult Contemporary.

<i>Amour</i> (musical)

Amour is a musical fantasy with an English book and lyrics by Jeremy Sams, music by Michel Legrand, and original French lyrics by Didier Van Cauwelaert, who also wrote the original French libretto.

"What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" is a song with lyrics written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman and original music written by Michel Legrand for the 1969 film The Happy Ending. The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost out to "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head".

<i>Yentl</i> (film) 1983 romantic musical drama film directed by Barbra Streisand

Yentl is a 1983 American romantic musical drama film directed, co-written, co-produced by, and starring Barbra Streisand. It is based on Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story "Yentl the Yeshiva Boy."

The Razzie Award for Worst Musical Score was an award presented at the annual Golden Raspberry Awards for the worst score composed for a film in the previous year. The following is a list of recipients and nominees of that award, along with the film for which they were nominated. The category was discontinued in 1985.

Ludwig Emil Tomas Göransson is a Swedish composer, conductor, and record producer. He has scored films such as Fruitvale Station, the Rocky franchise entries Creed and Creed II, Venom, and Tenet. For his work on the 2018 superhero film Black Panther, he won the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media and the Academy Award for Best Original Score, and he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. Göransson is also known for his work on American TV series like Community, Happy Endings, New Girl, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, and The Mandalorian, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for the last.

<i>How Do You Keep the Music Playing?</i> (Johnny Mathis album) 1993 studio album by Johnny Mathis

How Do You Keep the Music Playing? is an album by American pop singer Johnny Mathis that was released on May 4, 1993, by Columbia Records and included the subtitle The Songs of Michel Legrand and Alan & Marilyn Bergman on its cover. The album featured new, individual recordings of two songs that Mathis covered as a medley for his 1973 album Me and Mrs. Jones -- "I Was Born in Love with You" and "Summer Me, Winter Me". He also performed new arrangements of "The Windmills of Your Mind", "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?", and "The Summer Knows", which he had recorded for other albums many years earlier.

Alan and Marilyn Bergman American lyricists and songwriters

Alan Bergman and Marilyn Keith Bergman are American lyricists and songwriters. The pair have been married since 1958 and have written the music and lyrics for numerous celebrated television shows, films, and stage musicals. The Bergmans have won two Academy Awards for Best Original Song and have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

This is a list of albums by Michel Legrand.

References

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