American conductor and pianist André Previn died today, aged 89. Born in Berlin on April 6, 1929, as Andreas Ludwig Priwin, he grew up in Los Angeles. His family fled Germany in 1938 and first moved to Paris, and then New York, before arriving in Hollywood. He began his career as movie theatre pianist and worked for MGM when he was 16. Later, he started a career as classical and jazz pianist. As conductor, he served as music director of the Houston and Pittsburgh Symphonies and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as principal conductor of the London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, and appeared as a frequent guest conductor worldwide. He composed chamber music, concertos and operas, including his 1998 setting of Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, premiered in San Francisco, with soprano Renée Fleming.

Previn was married five times. Among his wives were actress Mia Farrow and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, for whom he wrote his first violin concerto, which he named Anne-Sophie. They divorced in 2006.

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