Tributes to Marvin Hamlisch

Compiled from several sources, here are some tributes to our beloved Marvin Hamlisch:

“It was with profound sadness that I learned of Maestro Marvin Hamlisch’s passing. During the past few years, I had the pleasure of meeting him on many occasions on my visits to Pittsburgh. He was charming, he had a great sense of humor and, most importantly, he was a kind man. He brought so much joy to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and our audiences. Although we will all miss him very much, he will be forever in our hearts, and we can take comfort in knowing that the fantastic and beautiful music he created will endure. I will keep his wife and family in my prayers.” — Manfred Honeck, PSO Music Director

“Genius is rare enough, but a good-hearted genius is rarer still. A good-hearted, humble and hilarious genius? Almost unheard-of.” — former President Bill Clinton

“I’m very saddened by the loss of prolific composer and conductor, Marvin Hamlisch.  Mr. Hamlisch’s contribution to the arts is one that will forever be remembered through the masterpieces he created for TV, film, theater, and music as a whole.  We will miss Mr. Hamlisch, and will continue to honor his life through his work.” – ‘Glee’ star Matthew Morrison

“When I think of him now, it was his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity, and delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around. Just last night, I was trying to reach him, to tell him how much I loved him, and that I wanted to use an old song of his, that I had just heard for the first time. He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him.” — Barbra Streisand

“Marvin Hamlisch was a dear friend and I am truly stunned by his death at such a young age. I heard him say once that he was ‘old fashioned’ and I suppose that’s why Ronnie and I were so drawn to him, but I don’t think you could ever find a more contemporary and talented musician. During our time at the White House, he entertained at many events — he even let me sing with him a few times, but luckily his piano music drowned out my voice! And I’ll never forget that he wrote a special song for Ronnie’s surprise 77th birthday party in 1988.” — Nancy Reagan

“Marvin was much beloved in our community. He was generous with his time and wonderful at reaching out to make the art of songwriting and film scoring accessible to people outside of the profession. He had the special gift of melody, and we are all the richer for it.” – film composer Charles Bernstein

“I’m shocked by the loss of a great colleague, as is everyone in the theater and film business and every corner of the arts where song and score matter to people. The fraternity of songwriters has lost a great friend.” — Composer Alan Menken

“He was one of the funniest people I knew. I will miss his talent, our laughter and friendship, but mostly I will miss Marvin. My heart is with his wife Terre always. I have lost my first lifelong best friend, and sadly we have lost a splendid, splendid talent.” — Liza Minnelli

“He was more than our collaborator. He was our beloved friend. He was family. The world will miss his music, his humor, his genius. We will miss him every day for the rest of our lives.” — Alan and Marilyn Bergman

“Marvin loved using music to make people laugh. At the drop of a hat, he would sit at the piano and brilliantly improvise the last sentence he had heard, switching briskly between the styles of Sondheim, Gershwin and Andrew Lloyd Webber — rhymes and all.” – John Lithgow

“Marvin was a friend and mentor, but often felt like a second father to me. To have shared the stage with such a legend has been some of the most rewarding moments in my career. Not only does he leave us with the most precious of melodies and music, but anyone who has ever shared an after show drink with him can attest to his hysterical storytelling and deep love for his stunning wife, Terre. My heart is broken. He made me feel so special. I love him so much.” — Idina Menzel

“Marvin Hamlisch’s accomplishments in the theatre and film worlds are legendary. He left an everlasting mark with the groundbreaking `A Chorus Line,’ one of my personal favorites. His legacy leaves us with a treasury of songs and stories that will always be familiar to theatregoers as they stir up meaningful and heartfelt emotions.” – Charlotte St. Martin, executive director, Broadway League

“Today, we lost a world class virtuoso and native New Yorker whose music brought stages and screens to life from Broadway to Hollywood and all points in between. As a child of immigrants, Marvin’s life was a great New York success story.” — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Marvin Hamlisch, and my prayers and deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. Marvin was truly brilliant as the Pittsburgh Symphony [Pops] Orchestra’s principal conductor and he raised the Symphony’s and Pittsburgh’s profile as a top arts and cultural destination. His contributions to Pittsburgh and the arts community will be missed, but not forgotten.” – Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl

“Marvin was much beloved in our community. He was generous with his time and wonderful at reaching out to make the art of songwriting and film scoring accessible to people outside of the profession. He had the special gift of melody, and we are all the richer for it.” — Charles Bernstein, a film composer and member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

“My husband, Larry, and I will always remember him as the good friend who was always there to say yes to any worthy cause. Generous beyond measure. I will miss him deeply.” — Actress-singer Lucie Arnaz

“Marvin Hamlisch was a musical genius. He was also very, very funny, extremely bright and a wonderful and loyal friend. I am shocked at his passing; he was always so completely alive and filled with energy.” — Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager, who wrote the lyrics to Nobody Does It Better.

“RIP Marvin Hamlisch. You were an amazing composer and a bundle of light.” – Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald

“It was an honor to share the stage with Marvin as assistant and resident conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1998-2004. Several times, Marvin asked me to conduct for him while he played the piano on a Pops concert and I remember that those moments were always filled with laughter, great stories and, of course, great music. He was, most definitely, a genius in his spontaneity and his understanding of the theatrical moment and we are so fortunate to have had so many of those moments with this incredible composer and performer. He has left us a legacy that will be cherished as one of the pillars of the American Musical Theatre.” – Lucas Richman, music director, Knoxville and Bangor symphony orchestras

“Marvin Hamlisch meant a lot to Pittsburgh and the PSO Pops. But he was also a man who was able to write major shows for Broadway, work closely with such singers as Barbra Streisand, and still connect humbly with fans. It’s a great loss for American music, and for Pittsburgh.” – Deane Root, director of Center of American Music at the University of Pittsburgh

“So saddened by the passing of my friend, Marvin Hamlisch. So often, he was truly ‘the one’. The music of Heaven got sweeter today. RIP.” – Jason Alexander

“The GREAT Marvin Hamlisch passed away… What a loss. What a talent. What contributions.” – Debra Messing

“Sad. Reading of the passing of another colleague. Marvin Hamlisch gave us the lovely score for ‘Three Men and a Baby.’ RIP” – Leonard Nimoy

“One of my favorite composers, Marvin Hamlisch, just died. A great, warm, funny guy. A CHORUS LINE will remain one of the best shows ever.” – Seth Rudetsky

“Rest in peace, Marvin Hamlisch. Thank you for all the beautiful music. Kiss the day good-bye indeed. =,(“ – Lea Salonga

“I just heard of Marvin Hamlisch’s death. Nothing more to say than I just adored him. Very, very sad day.” – Joan Rivers

“So shocked & sad to learn of Marvin Hamlisch passing away at 68 after a brief illness. Such a lovely, gracious, talented man. Such a loss.” – Betty Buckley

“RIP Marvin Hamlisch. He gave us some amazing music and left us too soon.” – Lynda Carter

“R.I.P. Marvin Hamlisch. His score to ‘Bananas’ is one of my all time favourite comedy soundtracks.” – British filmmaker Edgar Wright


  • Mary Angela Ogg
    Posted September 4, 2012

    I thoroughly enjoyed The Pittsburgh Pops with Marvin. I attended the Friday night concerts. I always looked forward to ending the week and starting the weekend with Marvin. I will miss him and his talent.

  • Glenn Mack
    Posted September 4, 2012

    R.I.P. Marvin. You were our favorite and the most talented musician we have had the pleasure to be in comapny of. You made us feel like family. You are missed and not easily replaced. Glenn & Cheri

  • Toni Mesiarik
    Posted September 4, 2012

    Marvin Hamlisch was the reason I enjoyed coming to the PNC Pops Concerts. He was a very real, funny, talented man who made the entire experience always very enjoyable. I know that his shoes will never be filled by another. He was one of a kind, and I am so happy that I got to meet and talk with him personally. I was very sad when I hear of his passing.

  • rene mcintire
    Posted September 5, 2012

    How this man-and his amazing talent will be missed.

  • Stan & Peggy Harasick
    Posted September 6, 2012

    We tried to get to Marvin’s pop concerts every chance we could. He was always entertaining and we always went away with a good feeling. We were looking forward to his appearence at the Steubenville C of C dinner to be up close and personal. We will miss him.
    Stan & Peggy

  • Andrea Weinzierl
    Posted September 6, 2012

    I was privileged to work with Marvin Hamlisch at the Pittsburgh Symphony Holiday Pops in 2009 as a CLO Academy Student and then High School senior. I was a Santa-ette. He asked me to play off of him and to call him Uncle Moe Moe and I the Angry Santa-ette in the opening number. He was so fun to work with and I adored him. The following year a freshman at Point Park University as a Musical Theater/Dance student I was selected for his All-Star College Chorus performing with the Symphony once again in the presence of this great man. He loved working with all of us and made all of us feel special and relaxed in front of the audience. Last month, during my college summer break I went up to NYC the same week Mr. Hamlisch’s funeral was and I was auditioning for, A Chorus Line the National Tour. It was a bitter sweet audition for me. I said, come on Mr. Hamlisch your here with me again but in my heart. A week later I was offered a cast position with the company! I get to perform in A Chorus Line for the next 6 months all over the country. I will honor Mr. Hamlisch with every performance.

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