Columbus, OH — The Lantern: Throughout the history of U.S. entertainment, only 12 people have won all four (Egot) performing awards: four Emmys, 4 Grammys, 3 Oscars, a Tony. Only two people have won these four awards and a Pulitzer Prize: Marvin Hamlisch and Composer Richard Rodgers. Marvin also received 2 Golden Globes.
Hamlisch, a renowned composer and conductor, is best known for his music in “A Chorus Line,” for which he received a Pulitzer Prize Drama and a Tony Award, “The Way We Were,” for which he received two Oscars and two Golden Globes, “Sweet Smell of Success” and dozens of other American films, plays and shows, said Nannette Maciejunes, the Columbus Museum of Art’s executive director.
The Columbus Museum of Art’s exhibit honors Hamlisch’s memory in the form of photographs by New York photographer Len Prince, who is set to publish a book of the same title, Maciejunes said. The exhibit is on view through Sept. 6th, 2015
Hamlisch has a personal connection to Columbus because his widow, Terre Blair Hamlisch, is a Columbus native and former news anchor for ABC6-WSYX, said Carol Luper, the Hamlischs’ longtime friend and retired ABC6-WSYX reporter.
“I think Columbus has had a long love affair with Hamlisch, as has most of the country,” Maciejunes said, adding that the Short North Stage is mounting a production of “A Chorus Line” beginning Thursday Apr 9, 2015 with performances through Apr 26, 2015.
Before his death in August 2012, Hamlisch’s last musical scores for film were for “The Informant!” and “Behind the Candelabra,” both starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Hamlisch composed the theme music used in “Good Morning America” for its first 12 years on the air; it surrounded just four notes. He held the position of principal pops conductor in 10 symphony orchestras across the country, and was a guest conductor for many more, including the Columbus Symphony, Luper said.
“I had a half-hour show that he would come on when he came to town, and he was the best because he had incredible stories and a sense of humor,” Luper said.
“Marvin’s heart was the biggest. He was brilliant in so many ways but also down to earth, and maybe in the exhibit people will see that.” — Carol Luper
Len Prince has photographed many celebrities, including Kate Hudson, Spike Lee, Missy Elliot and more. When he took Hamlisch’s portrait in 2012, Prince said, he met him for the first and last time.
“As I peered through the ground glass of my large format camera, I recognized his kindness, generosity and that I was in the presence of a true genius,” Prince said. “Marvin Hamlisch will go down in history as one of the greatest American prolific composers that ever lived, like Gershwin.”
Prince has since photographed several Hamlisch tributes around the nation, he said, including the Memorial Concert at Juilliard School with Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Liza Minnelli among many of his friends that evening, (Hamlisch studied music at Juilliard School). Maciejunes said the images all feature Hamlisch and memorable moments of tributes to him after his passing, and show famous personalities like Streisand, Liza Minnelli and Idina Menzel.
“I hope that I have humbly captured even a small bit of the essence of this great man … and just how much he was beloved by everyone he came in contact with,” Prince said.
The exhibit was put together in collaboration with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra, which is playing a concert in honor of Hamlisch this October at the McCoy Center. A quartet will preview three songs at the Columbus Museum of Art on the exhibit’s opening night, (April 10th 5:00 — 8:00pm ) in addition to a talk by Prince and Blair Hamlisch, said Heather Garner, executive director and violist for New Albany Symphony Orchestra.
“The Hamlisch songbook is vast,” Garner said. “It is timeless music performed on Broadway, the Silver Screen and everywhere in between. I am quite certain he could turn a melody from a Mahler Symphony into a country lyric.”
The New Albany Symphony Orchestra’s concert, to take place Oct. 3 and 4, will incorporate Prince’s photographs into the show, Garner said, noting that Prince “has an incredible eye and has captured some beautiful moments in time. It will be touching for all of us that have been moved at some point in our lives by the music of the great Marvin Hamlisch.” — (Read review of these concert — sold out performances! Thank you OHIO! )
Video: The Inspiring Music of Marvin Hamlisch:
The exhibit features 148 photographs, although it was planned to be just a few dozen, Maciejunes and Luper said. When the Columbus Museum of Art saw Prince’s portfolio, they couldn’t resist adding more to the collection.
“The toughest thing has been speaking about Marvin over the lump in my throat,” Luper said. “He was so large a presence in (my husband and I’s) lives … I hope the exhibition will show what a wonderful, generous genius he was.”
Source: Denise Blough for TheLantern.com [email protected]