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Michel Legrand

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Michel Legrand


Michel Jean Legrand (24 February 1932, Paris, France – 26 January 2019 26 January 2019 (aged 86) Neuilly-sur-Seine, France) was a French musical composer, arranger, conductor, and jazz pianist.

Legrand was born to his father, Raymond Legrand, who was himself a conductor and composer, and his mother, Marcelle Ter-Mikaëlian, who was the sister of conductor Jacques Hélian. He studied music at the Conservatoire de Paris from age 11, working with, among others, Nadia Boulanger and graduated with top honors as both a composer and a pianist. He burst upon the international music scene at 22 when his album I Love Paris became a surprise hit. He established his name in the United States by working with such jazz stars as Miles Davis and Stan Getz.

Legrand composed more than 200 film and television scores. He won three Oscars and five Grammys. Legrand composed music for Jacques Demy's films The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1966), and appeared and performed in Agnès Varda's Cléo from 5 to 7 (1961). He also composed music for Joseph Losey's Eva (1962), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) (which features The Windmills of Your Mind), Ice Station Zebra (1968), The Picasso Summer (1969), Orson Welles's last-completed film F for Fake (1974) and would later compose the score for Welles's posthumously-released movie The Other Side of the Wind (2018). He also composed the score for Yentl (1983), as well as the film score for Louis Malle's film Atlantic City (1980). His instrumental version of the theme from Brian's Song charted 56th in 1972.

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