Condolences and remembrance for the passing of Marvin Hamlisch

Thank you all for coming to the Temple or being there in Spirit for Marvin’s Sensational Sendoff. President Clinton spoke, President Obama and Nancy Reagan sent messages and Terre, his wife, shared with us her life with Marvin and his tireless work with so many organizations around the world. He was truly a Citizen of the Universe. She told us, Marvin said  he was the PEOPLES COMPOSER.  There were 600 in the choir, which consisted of many of his peers, Sheldon Harnick, Jonathan Tunic, Lucie Arnaz, and all those in the theater community who loved him and his music. When they all stood up to sing “Memories” and “At The Ballet” chills went through me.  When the choir and the entire Congregation of a couple of thousand people sang “What I Did For Love” you could feel the Love in the room. We Rocked!!! Yes, Terre we shook the Synagogue for our Marvin today. His Music will Live Forever in all of us. As I was leaving, the Temple Director said to me and Fran Liebergal that he’d seen hundreds of services but this was the  most moving and memorable one. I will sleep tonight knowing my assignment was completed. You came, You saw , You were a part of History today. Thank you.
In loving spirit   Baayork

From: Baayork Lee (A Chorus Line)
Subject: Sensational Sendoff for our Marvin


 Read: A Remembrance of Marvin Hamlisch at the birthplace of A Chorus Line.

A Candle for Marvin Hamlisch at The Newman Theater (Where the musical “A Chorus Line” started. Photo by Jay Duckworth/Public Theater

My delightful memory of Mr. Hamlisch

The year was 1980,early summer, on the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto. Venue: Ontario Place, my beloved soon to be husband and I loved to enjoy “dates” at Ontario Place, we would rush from work, having packed a picnic supper, and race to get a seat at this open concert area. On this particular evening, Mr. Hamlisch was performing, our arrival coincided with rehearsal still in progress. What luck!!!! While enjoying our supper, I noticed a young girl speaking to Mr. Hamlisch, she was several rows away from him. their conversation could be heard, she told Mr. Hamlisch that she had been involved in a High School production of “Chorus Line”. Mr. Hamlisch then proceeded to play “What I did for love” asking this young lady to sing, she rose to the occasion and sang beautifully. What a magical moment for her, what a magical moment for us!!!!! Last week when hearing of Mr. Hamlisch’s passing, I immediately recalled this memorable occasion. I am sad that this genius has left us, but hope he will rest in peace. I think of the young women and the amazing opportunity Mr. Hamlisch gave her some 32 years ago.

It has given me great pleasure to be able to pass this “little moment in time ” to you, somehow knowing that many other people will have their magic moment to pass on to you as well.

Thank you,

Barbara Hamilton

From: Mark Blackburn
Urgent: a ‘published’ appreciation of “the best Marvin Hamlisch song you never heard”

Kindly pass along to Mr. Hamlisch’s family — a ‘published’ appreciation of “the best Marvin Hamlisch song you never heard.”

I’m Mark Blackburn, a Winnipeg Canada writer with a thread (“call it a blog now, Mark!”)  -It turned 455,000 “views” today, with my posting for my sentimental beautiful melody by Marvin Hamlisch that “no one ever heard-of” — the “Best Original Song” Oscar-nominated melody he wrote for Johnny Mercer’s very last film song. The song and the posting are ‘LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT.’  Hope the family enjoys. Know that you are in our prayers. God bless,    Mark Blackburn  Winnipeg Manitoba


From: Dale Prost    Subject: memory of Marvin Hamlisch

My son and I had the opportunity to see Marvin perform with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra back on May 14, 2005 at Symphony Hall in Phoenix. Marvin made that night very memorable.  After making a comment about the number of young people in the audience Marvin directed a question to my son asking him, “Who made him come here?” My son replied that no one made him and that he loved the music. Once Marvin realized my son played the violin he invited him to come onto the stage and play the next song with the orchestra. Before the song was played Marvin encaged into a five minute conversation on stage. It was a magical evening. Marvin was so cordial and so warm to my son.  A little later in the show Marvin commented on the fact that all we hear is the bad in our youth.  We don’t hear the good and again pointed that comment to my son.  What a boost it gave him. What a warm, passionate, and caring person.  He will truly be missed.


From: Michael Mustillo   Subject: Condolences

Hello from Europe. Growing up in Australia, it was the music of Marvin Hamlisch, that initial brought music into my life, and influenced a career in arts and music management spanning 25 years.I pay my deepest respects to this outstanding artist and musician, whose music will live on in all of us.We would be most interested in making a concert suggestion in Prague, Europe for a memorial concert of Marvin Hamlisch’s music.With kind regards my deepest condolences to all those that loved and where part of Mr. Hamlisch’s family.  Michael Mustillo  Prague Czech Republic. Europe


From: Larry Y — A New Yorker

My condolences to Mrs Hamlisch.

Dear Mrs. Hamlisch , I am an average  New Yorker- I was honored to attend your husband’s service today- I am the people- the general public that was not on a celebrity list-all the press has called folks like me- my shoes had holes and my dress attire- was not GQ- but as a fellow mensch your husband was- I think Marvin would welcome and understand. When my parents divorced in 1978 -1982- when I was in elementary and junior high- and high school– I remembered the music of They’re Playing Our Song — Chorus Line–  Marvin is my memory of the splashy romantic NYC of the  Studio 54. Although I never met your husband the closest I got to honoring was singing “Falling” (They’re Playing Our Song) for Emanuel Azenbergs daughter at an audition- I am a mensch I am told — and I felt honored to be in the Shul today to sing along sitting among the crowd of people-I hope my email brings you love and strength to know how much happiness your husband has given to me and so many-thank you for allowing me to come- I was afraid when I approached the temple as a stern man looked at me judgmentally asking me “Can I help you Sir ?” I said ‘Can I please attend Marvin Hamlisch’s service ?” and I was welcomed-in to the synagogue I had never been in before- I almost felt as if I was going to be turned away but once inside I felt welcome.

Thank you Terre for inviting people like me- I related to your husbands modesty- I always put other people before me- I think your husband was like that too- I related to him- a very unselfish mensch- god bless

with love and strength and gratitude … Larry Y


From: Marlene Klese  

I’m sixty-seven years old; I am a grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of l, nearly two great-grandsons (the second one is due today!).  Aside from having experienced a major sense of loss in my life over the years as we all have, there is no specific reason for my writing today.

Mr. Hamlisch’s talent was/is awesome.  I didn’t know him personally but he frequented our home I can assure you!  Until his untimely death, I hadn’t realized he was responsible for soooo many hits.  His true treasure was his mind, not his financial assets!  I decorate cakes and write poetry…those are things I enjoy but I’ve always wished I could’ve been a lyricist.  Maybe in the next life…

So many were so blessed by Marvin Hamlisch’s presence here on earth and many never knew his name…just his catchy compositions or romantic words and music.  His signature WAS his music!  May we all pause to send up a sincere prayer of thanks for having been introduced to him…or at least his brilliant music!  He was awesome…and I’ll bet he still IS…UPSTAIRS!  May God rest his soul and inspire others!


From: Brian Joseph Maguire   Subject: Beloved Marvin

I would just like to send my sincere condolences to Mrs. Terre and the whole family. It was such a privilege to sing in honor and memory of Marvin today. He was such a inspiration, and helped me thrive in my career — without even knowing. Such an amazing talent, heart, and all around person.

Kind Regards,

Brian Joseph Maguire


From: Leah Lim  Subject: Was such an honour!

I was lucky enough to be rehearsing with Baayork Lee with the UK cast of A Chorus Line that was going to perform the show in Tel Aviv last Sept 2011 in London. Baayork surprised us one day and said that Marvin Hamlisch was in town and that he was coming to watch us run the show in rehearsal and that he hadn’t watched a rehearsal run of the show in over 17 years. I was besides myself that we’d be performing his amazing music in front of him. Marvin Hamlisch watched us and was the most generous, gracious, encouraging music composer I’d ever met and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to meet him. I send my prayers and condolences to his family & friends. It was an honour to have met him and perform his work which I’m so lucky to still be performing now in Australia with an Australian cast of A Chorus Line. Thank you for the music Mr Hamlisch! : )

Read: All Condolences and remembrance for the passing of Marvin Hamlisch

Read -From Symphonies. Tributes and Memorial: (Marvin Hamlisch was their Principal Pops conductor)

From Pittsburgh Symphony

From San Diego Symphony

From Milwaukee Symphony

From Seattle Symphony

From The Dallas Symphony

From Pasadena Symphony and Pops

Thank you ALL for your kind words.

Sincerely ,

Terre Blair and Family.



  1. I’ve been blessed to have known Marvin and still look at my big comfortable sofa
    He’d sit on when we had our creative discussions about my original musical…
    Now looking back on those wonderful memories and moments with the brilliant
    Kind and loving msn he was, I feel so privileged to have his advise locked inside
    My head forever…He understood the art form of creating great musical theater, and
    I intend to dedicate our 11:00 song BEAUTIFUL MAN to beautiful Marvin…
    He chose that title in the early stages of my musicals development and it feels
    Such a fitting tribute to honor his memory with this song.…Wherever you are
    Dearest Marvin…you are loved and remembered forever…
    Barbara Carole Sickmen.…(LIBERACE.…The Musical)

    • You live forever…will be loved forever…the music will go on
      Forever…though not on the physical world, your presence
      Will always be felt by those who were so blessed by your light…
      A funny and passionate man, who was humble and generous.…
      you cared about people, and loved those around you with an
      Unconditional zest.…When I walk around Sag Harbor, or Park Ave., or the theater district.…you are still there Marvin…You were and will always be a presence that will never be forgotten…
      Love and gratitude for you…the man and your music…

  2. I was so moved and felt honored to be present for the celebration of his life it was a beautiful service. The body of work he has left behind will certainly allow him to live forever and he will continue to touch the millions as “the peoples composer” for many lifetimes to come. Marvin has given so much to us, and so much has been gained from his contributions to the world, therefore, it was so not only fulfilling, but also assuring and to know I was giving something back to him by singing in the mass choir at his service. I never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Hamlisch, but through the words of his great friends and loved ones I was able to get a glimpse of the great man he truly was. It it so unfortunate that he was taken away so early.

  3. From: Ron Kurowski
    Subject: gratitude and love

    I saw a chorus line 3 times at the public theater. it spoke to me in ways no other musical ever had. the seamless connection of story, music, dance, and song was total genius. i happened to be a dancer, so i was thrilled to get to audition, and land the role of bobby for the international company that played London in 1976.
    my experience with the show lasted 14 years including when it closed on the road, when it became the longest running show in broadway history, and then when it closed on broadway. i worked side by side with my wife Sachi, who played Connie, Baayork’s role, for many years too. how fortunate we were to share the stage night after night, enjoying each other’s abilities, all the more meaningful now that Sachi passed away in 2010.
    singing “what i did for love” every night was a joy. the deep emotions were always there, as we exclaimed the dancer’s anthem. Marvin certainly was the “people’s composer” but he was also the one who wrote the dancer’s anthem.
    i was drawn to his funeral service, because i felt he was an amazingly generous human being. hearing, at the service, how he gave of himself constantly, confirmed my feelings. Marvin left the world a better place than when he arrived. he gave from the heart, and left a beautiful legacy. my eyes were not dry as i sang along with everyone else, “love’s what we’ll remember.” thanks Marvin!

    Ron Kurowski

  4. Mr. Hamlisch was the best conductor, as I played trumpet in an orchestra he conducted. Why did God take? He will always be remembered. He left us to soon.

  5. From: Lisa Donmall-Reeve
    Subject: RE:Memories
    The beautiful Baayork Lee asked me to post my experience/memory of Marvin.

    I was lucky enough to be a part of a London cast of A Chorus Line last year.We performed the show in Tel Aviv for 2 weeks in October 2011.
    During our rehearsal period in London Baayork informed us that Marvin was coincidentally in town and planned to pay us a visit.
    We were all stunned and in true British style never really believed he would show. For one thing the rehearsal location was not local London! It was far east and not easy to get to.
    The morning Marvin was due to watch our rehearsal we waited,and waited…Just as we were giving up hope and were going to go ahead with a run through of the show, in walked the man himself…carrying some shopping bags!
    Thrilled, we all prepared and tried not to get too intimidated and nervous, while he got comfy and got out his NOTEPAD!!!
    The run through went well and he gave us an amazing note session afterwards. We had a group shot and he went on his merry way.

    It is an experience in my personal and professional lifetime that I will never forget.
    What an amazingly giving,kindhearted,funny genius!

    The news of his passing shocked and saddened me greatly and I felt honoured to be present at his funeral.Choking back tears at the speeches and singing out ‘What I did for Love’

    My life is richer to have known him oh so briefly and the world,now, has a gaping hole in it.

    With love and Respect
    Lisa Donmall-Reeve

  6. Subject: San Diego Pops, July 1st
    It was with enormous sadness and shock that my wife Colette and I learned of the untimely death of Marvin, so shortly after seeing him perform with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra at the Embarcadero.We were on holiday from Ireland, and had such a brilliant time at the show. I had told Colette that the soundtrack to “The Sting” had been one of the first records I had ever bought, all those years ago. It is even more treasured by me now.
    Marvin was so funny, warm and humane, at all times. At the show, he joked with a little Italian lad in the audience called Alessandro — it was a gentle, running gag throughout — just an example of his wonderful interaction with the audience. He was particularly hilarious about his desire to be invited onto a VERY posh yacht (it had a helicopter!)which was moored nearby. I guess that wish didn’t come true, but he caused an awful lot of other people’s dreams and wishes to be realised, through his undelievable musicianship and humanity.
    As we say in Ireland: “Ar dheis De go raibh a anam”. (“May his soul be at God’s right side.”) Thank you for the memories, Marvin.

  7. Nita Archie
    Subject: Thank you for yor lectures and inspiring me to become a better piano player

    To the Hamlisch Family,
    Having had numerous opportunities to hear Mr. Hamlisch lecture about music and its composition, please family of Mr. Hamlisch, remember the good time and cherish the work and memory of Mr. Hamlisch. I am hurt by the loss but inspired by the work. Please stay strong in this time of bereavement.

  8. It was a great honor for me to be able to perform in the chorus at Marvin Hamlisch’s funeral on Tuesday morning. I was 21 years old when I first heard A Chorus Line.… the music ignited a great passion in me for musical theater. A million blessings to you and your family.

  9. I just wanted to say how much everyone in Nashville,Tn. loved having Mr. Hamlisch come so many times and play his music @ TPAC as well as his last time @ Schermerhorn Symphony Center with our Nashville musicians for a Pops concert and also how much we appreciate the time he spent here on doing all the music to Jerry Lewis’ play“The Nutty Professor”— Mr.Hamlisch will be sorely missed;he was loved by so many and he will be remembered for
    being so generous and caring toward everyone—-I will miss him but his music will go on forever and for that I say thank you very much——Carole

  10. I have already written twice on these pages, but my heart wants to add more words, also inspired by the wonderful recollections we all can read here — it is so touching. 20 years ago I read Marvin Hamlisch´s book THE WAY I WAS and was impressed. I am reading it again now only to be even more overwhelmed by his sincerity, sensitivity, honesty and overall wonderfully ironic sense of humour which all make me feel so close to this remarkable human being, this beautiful “mensch”. I wish I would heve met him, but by listening to his music I can imagine him being present. I also watched again the two Streisand shows Marvin had arranged and conducted, and I love to see him with the orchestra, and occasionally he is seen in full person . Wonderful moments. Thanks for your exceptional artistry.