Children’s book shows a young and musical Marvin Hamlisch

PITTSBURGH, PA — Lost in the parade of film and stage hits and in the long run of pops concerts is that Marvin Hamlisch was a piano prodigy. He was barely 7 when he enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music.

Children’s Book: Marvin Makes Music

Even lesser-known is that he wore pajamas under his scratchy wool suit at the audition. How do we know that? Well, he has told the story in a children’s book, “Marvin Makes Music” (Dial, $17.99 hardcover), with illustrations by Jim Madsen.

It is a sweet story about a bright-eyed boy, but the context is bittersweet — Penguin books published it in late November, three months after Hamlisch died at age 68.

Because the galleys were sent to the printer before he died, the book makes no mention of his death.

But it does cast a light on the roots of his passion for composing, which he far preferred over practicing music by “composers with funny names, like Wolfgang.” It also relates how he liked to pretend every sound he heard in New York was a part of a “City Symphony.” That’s reflected in “The Music in My Mind,” a song written for the book and included in an accompanying CD -

Read more, Buy the book

Source: Andrew Druckenbrod / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



  1. This is a great book for kids. The story of Marvin Hamlisch as a child prodigy applying for Juilliard School is very sweet and exciting. The drawings are phenomenal. Thanks for publishing. Future generations of young kids will reflect on the life of this musical genius named Marvin Hamlisch. RIP. James

  2. Just read “Marvin Makes Music to my 5 year old who is home from school with the Flu for the past few days. She loved it and it seemed like the only thing that has cheered her up all day. I recommend this book to all dads. Zup