The former enfant terrible of motion picture scoring and accomplished jazz pianist was honored with four Academy Awards. He won the first two, for best scoring of a musical picture (a category that has since been retired), for “Gigi” and “Porgy & Bess” in 1958 and 1959, respectively, while still in his 20s. He then won two for best adaptation or treatment (another retired sub-category) in 1963 and 1964 for “Irma la Douce” and “My Fair Lady,” respectively.
He later abandoned films to conduct such esteemed orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Previn’s jazz influence was pianist Art Tatum and, from the age of 12, he developed a proficiency in jazz piano, which led to his first film assignment at age 16, while still a