Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
André Previn (born April 6, 1929) is a prominent pianist, orchestral conductor, and composer. He was born Andreas Ludwig Priwin in Berlin to a German-Jewish family, but his family emigrated to the United States in 1938 to escape the Nazis. He became a US citizen in 1943.
In 1967, Previn became conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the following year added the London Symphony Orchestra to his portfolio. In subsequent years, he was at various times conductor to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He composed film scores and musicals, a cello concerto and a guitar concerto, and is one of the world's best-known conductors. Previn received Kennedy Center Honors in 1998. He is also an honorary Knight of the British Empire; while he is not entitled to the form "Sir Andre Previn" as he is not a British citizen, he is entitled to use the post-nominal letters, viz. "Mr Andre Previn KBE".
During his early career in Los Angeles, Previn arranged and composed a number of movie scores, notably Three Little Words in 1950, Kiss Me, Kate in 1953, It's Always Fair Weather in 1955, Silk Stockings in 1957, Bells Are Ringing in 1960, Irma La Douce in 1963, My Fair Lady in 1964 and Paint Your Wagon in 1969. In later years, he has concentrated on classical music. His first opera, A Streetcar Named Desire premiered at the San Francisco Opera in 1998.
In the UK, he is particularly remembered for his performance on the Morecambe and Wise show, which involved his conducting a spoof performance of Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto, with Morecambe as the soloist. Because of other commitments, the only time available for Previn to learn his part was during a transatlantic flight, but the talent he showed for comedy won high praise from his co-performers.
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