ONE SINGULAR SENSATION: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch
A sold out performance on New Year’s Eve at The Lincoln Center, by the New York Philharmonic and fabulous performers.
New York — Josh Groban, Megan Hilty, Audra McDonald, Brian D’archy James, Beth Behrs and Lilla Crawford joined Joshua Bell, Michael Feinstein, Maria Friedman and many other great performers at The Lincoln Center to pay tribute to Marvin Hamlisch with an evening of music and remembrance: “One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch”
Directed with expectedly assured precision and brimming with more than its fair share of cinematographic surprises and many unexpected delights for the audience at home thanks to recent SONDHEIM! and COMPANY helmer Lonny Price — the verifiable master of this sort of super-special stage-for-television event at this point, without a doubt — the Live From Lincoln Center tribute to Marvin Hamlisch was a dazzling night of the best of Broadway showing off their amply evident skills while also giving the generous opportunity to some of New York’s finest musicians to pay tribute to the masterful musician, composer, conductor and arranger that undoubtedly was Hamlisch in his rich life and career as media-crossing composer/conductor. Featuring a Paul Gemignani-led New York Philharmonic, Avery Fisher Hall was the ideal venue to host the starry event tipping the top hat to one of Juilliard’s most famous attendees, as well — with famous graduate and five-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, no less, as the affable host.
Marvin Hamlisch was originally scheduled to host this event:
The New York Philharmonic spent its New Year’s Eve celebrating the music of Marvin Hamlisch with an all-star lineup of talent. The Philharmonic said that its New Year’s Eve concert, held annually at Lincoln Center, was scheduled this year to be hosted and conducted by Hamlisch, the composer of “A Chorus Line” and pop hits like “The Way We Were.” Following Hamlisch’s death on Aug. 6, this concert instead saluted his work with performances by artists he knew and worked with closely, including Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, Josh Groban, Michael Feinstein, Raúl Esparza, Megan Hilty, Joshua Bell, and Maria Friedman. The concert, which emphasized Hamlisch’s film and stage work like “A Chorus Line” and “Sweet Smell of Success,” was conducted by Paul Gemignani and directed by Lonny Price. It was hosted by Ms. McDonald and broadcast on “Live From Lincoln Center” on PBS.
Before his passing, August 6, 2012, at the age of 68, Marvin Hamlisch was originally scheduled to host and conduct this year’s annual New Year’s Eve concert. A Philharmonic friend and generous supporter, Mr. Hamlisch appeared with the Orchestra four times, conducting a total of 40 songs including selections from A Chorus Line, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award. Anticipating his second appearance with the Philharmonic, Mr. Hamlisch said in 2009:
“Any time you get a chance to work with the New York Philharmonic, you say a prayer of thanks. I had a wonderful rapport with the musicians and I’m thrilled to be back.”
A portion of the proceeds from sales of all tickets to the New Year’s Eve concert is tax deductible and will go towards supporting the New York Philharmonic’s education activities, in honor of Marvin Hamlisch.
As a composer, Marvin Hamlisch won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, and three Golden Globe awards. For Broadway he wrote the music for his groundbreaking show A Chorus Line, which received the Pulitzer Prize, as well as They’re Playing Our Song, The Goodbye Girl, and Sweet Smell of Success. He was the composer of more than 40 film scores, including his Oscar-winning score and song for The Way We Were and his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music for The Sting, for which he received a third Oscar. His prolific output of scores for films includes original compositions and/or musical adaptations for Sophie’s Choice, Ordinary People, The Swimmer, Three Men and a Baby, Ice Castles, Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Save the Tiger, and The Informant!, starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh. Mr. Hamlisch was musical director and arranger of Barbra Streisand’s 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special Barbra Streisand: The Concert (for which he received two of his Emmys). Marvin Hamlisch held the position of principal pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and Pops, Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, The Buffalo Philharmonic, and The National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. At the time of his passing he was working on a film project about Liberace, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh. Hamlisch was a graduate of The Juilliard School and Queens College (where he earned a bachelor’s of arts degree). He believed in the power of music to bring people together.
To The Lincoln Center, The New York Philharmonic, PBS and Performers and Producers: THANK YOU! — The Family of Marvin Hamlisch.
Watch: “I’ll take Manhattan” by Richard Rodgers. Marvin at Piano. Joshua Bell, Violin.