A MUSE FOR YOUR MONDAY: MARVIN HAMLISCH

I realize that I am a day late. I apologize, of course, but life gets in the way sometimes. I’m just exceptionally grateful for mine today, as our legendary muse for Monday is no longer with us. I didn’t feel like writing a half-assed post (due to my exhaustion) and cheat someone like Marvin Hamlisch the recognition and adoration he deserves.

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EARLY LIFE:

Marvin Hamlisch was born to Max and Lilly Hamlisch in Manhattan, New York on June 2nd, 1944. He grew up with a genuine love for piano and as a result of this love, he became a very skilled pianist. He was accepted into a Pre-College program that was sponsored by Juilliard. His first job was rehearsal pianist for THE Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl. He continued to be hired as pianist for many reputable jobs and began to compose his own pieces which would ultimately gain him the respect and adoration that he was given throughout his lifetime.

HIS POPULAR WORKS:

While widely known for his work as a conductor with various reputable symphonies, his most awarded works were his compositions. Such reputable pieces include: “The Entertainer,” “The Way We Were,” “Nobody Does It Better,” The entire score from A Chorus Line, “Through the Eyes of Love,” and “They’re Playing Our Song.” He also has written the theme songs for SEVERAL movies.

Look at that list. Once you’ve gotten over the initial shock, look at it again and admire Marvin for his skill and dedication. He is one of twelve people to be an EGOT– someone who has received all four major awards- Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony.

WHY I LOVE MARVIN HAMLISCH:

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I was fortunate enough to speak to him once in my life. I had just seen Idina Menzel on her “Barefoot at the Symphony” tour and Marvin was acting as conductor for her backing orchestras. I was waiting on her at the stage door and Marvin came out and was so gracious to all of us. He spoke to everyone, embraced several, and made sure to thank everyone for coming out to see the show. I was toward the end of the line and when he got to where I was standing, he complimented my dress and spoke to me. Next, something happened that I’ve come to regret more than any decsion I’ve ever made. I really wanted to have my picture made with Idina and was terrified of losing my position in line, so when Marvin Hamlisch stood right behind me and offered to have pictures made with people, I said no. To date, I have never regretted a decision as much. Here I was, a young teen in love with all things music, saying no to an opportunity of a lifetime. In the defense of my 13-year-old self, I had no idea about Marvin and his list of accolades. I knew he was great at what he did, but I simply had no idea just how great he really was. I realized this not too much later after that concert and immediately kicked myself. When I heard the heartbreaking news on that August morning in 2012, I stayed in bed all day. To some of you, it may seem silly to mourn someone whom you’ve never REALLY met or gotten to know, but what a loss we all suffered that day. We lost one of our brightest and most caring superstars of all time. The world was absolutely heartbroken, as they should have been.

I am so in awe of him. I will forever be in awe of him. Anyone who just wakes up one morning and writes songs like “The Way We Were” or “Through the Eyes of Love” deserves such admiration. I love the music he created and I love the love that HE had for the music he was creating. He was a very talented man but he always took the background. He was at his happiest with a conducting baton in his hand behind some other talent supernova, like Streisand. Anyone who is granted the title “dear friend” by Barbra Streisand is of the utmost importance. That’s a fact of life. His wrote beautiful melodies that just flow and every once in a while introduces a disrutpive, yet beautiful, surprise. Listening to his music always puts me at ease.

Marvin was an incredible composer, performer, and conductor. I’m sure that he is in charge of conducting the Heavenly orchestra and that beautiful music is being made at this very second. I’ll leave you all with a quotation that I feel best summarizes his wonderful personality:

“My whole thing is not just to play music for people, but to make them part of the evening.” 

For those of us fortunate enough to have seen him live, you know that he very well accomplishes this goal. Even in his death, he continues to involve us all in his music. What a gift that is and what a gift he was. I’ll love you forever, Marvin. Thank you for the music.

love and light, my family. Hug the ones you love.

–EK

The Way We Were

Through the Eyes of Love

They’re Playing My Song

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