|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
In recent years Hamlisch was persuaded to take on the role of pops conductor of several major symphony orchestras by his manager, who uttered three words: "Gershwin did it." Philharmonic Acting Principal Clarinetist Mark Nuccio, who worked with Hamlisch in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, speaks of his compositional use of instrumentation: "His music is made rich by the keen awareness he had of the individual qualities of the instruments, and he used a bigger complement. Nowadays, most music theatre composers have only about 22 instruments at their disposal and don't take full advantage of even those sounds. Marvin's feels like symphony music."
"That richness of sound," continues Irene Breslaw, the New York Philharmonic's Assistant Principal Viola, "is emblematic of a generation. You could see that in the people who came to his Philharmonic concerts. It wasn't the soloists — he was the attraction. When I played for Leonard Bernstein I always felt I was blessed by the presence of genius. While Marvin modestly shows a reverence for the Philharmonic, in his own genre he gave me that same feeling."
Here's what some of music and theatre's biggest stars had to say about Marvin Hamlisch:
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