Facts about André Previn
André Previn Biography
André Previn was a jet-setting conductor who was nominated for 11 Oscars (he won four) and was married five times, including to singer Dory Previn and to actress Mia Farrow.
A musical polymath, Previn was born in Germany, but is associated mostly with Hollywood, for his film soundtracks, and London, where he led the London Symphony Orchestra in the late 1960s and ’70s.
Previn’s musical education in childhood was cut short because he was a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. His family emigrated to Paris and then to Los Angeles, where Previn discovered jazz and managed to get work conducting film scores for MGM when he was still a teenager.
Musically, pianist Previn traded Mozart for Art Tatum, scoring and playing jazz, while working for film studios conducting orchestras and sometimes getting the chance to compose.
Previn helped usher in the fad of musical scores to Broadway plays, and won Oscars for Gigi, Porgy and Bess and My Fair Lady. By the time he led the London Symphony Orchestra (1868-79), he was a celebrity and a familiar face on television.
Overcoming the stigma of being a movie guy, he turned to classical music and won audiences over with a cello concerto and a guitar concerto in the 1970s, while releasing records with jazz greats and pop stars.
Previn won just about every award in his field, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys and a knighthood. He authored two memoirs, Music Face to Face (1971) and No Minor Chords (1992).