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By Tim Page | Special to The Washington Post. André Previn, who died Feb. 28 at 89, was a musical polymath who began composing for Hollywood at 16 and won a quartet of Oscars, and had additional careers as a jazz piano phenomenon and major symphonic conductor ballet flats shoes. All the while, he forged a public identity as a jet setter who counted actress Mia Farrow among his five wives. Previn was considered something of a playboy as he leapt with swaggering allure between Hollywood and the directorship of some of the world’s leading orchestras, often using his celebrity and skillfulness as a raconteur to bring wider attention to classical music..
He won 11 Grammy awards over half a century – for his film music, for the records he made with jazz ensembles and orchestras he led and, in 2010, for lifetime achievement ballet flats shoes. “The most impressive aspect of Previn’s career was the ease with which he moved through the full spectrum of American music – whether jazz or classical, movie soundtracks or TV scores, Hollywood or Broadway, overtly commercial gigs or artistically refined projects,” music historian Ted Gioia said in an interview..
“And he could do this as composer, conductor or performer as the situation warranted,” Gioia added. “In some ways, he epitomizes the great era of middlebrow art in America, when audiences rewarded artists who crafted popular art with a dose of aesthetic sophistication, and packaged it for crossover success.” ballet flats shoes. Sporting a Beatles-style haircut, seemingly “hip” and modishly dressed, he was a favorite of the gossip columnists and paparazzi starting in the late 1960s after he took up with Farrow, fresh from her divorce from Frank Sinatra..
Previn reveled in stories about the personalities and absurdities of Hollywood ballet flats shoes. While arranging and conducting music for the Lerner and Loewe musical “Gigi” (1958), one of his Oscar-winning assignments, he said director Vincente Minnelli ordered up 24 black swans to swim on a lake in Paris. Instead of the word for swans, “cygnes,” Minnelli in muddled French accidentally requested “singes,” monkeys. “Try setting that to music,” Previn recalled years later..
His gossipy memoir of his years working – and playing – in Hollywood, “No Minor Chords” (1991), recounted his youthful near-dalliance with screen siren Ava Gardner, who was “the kind of beautiful that turned men into Jell-O molds.” ballet flats shoes. “She listened to me play, quite attentively,” he wrote, “and then asked an incredible question: ‘Would you like to take me home later?’. “Well, I was 17 and I simply could not allow myself to put a subtext connotation to this, so I asked: ‘You mean you don’t have a ride home?’ Ava gave me a long, searching look, saw that I was serious, excused herself and got up from the piano bench.”..