Most of us struggle to find what we do best: natural talent and circumstance is not aligned.
But on this rare occasion, he could hear it, clearly — from the beginning.
There is geometry in the humming of the strings,
there is music in the spacing of the spheres.
For he was a Natural.
God bless the child,
who’s got his own.
Natural talent, That is.
And — gets to use it, and develop his/her skills using that natural talent to the fullest. God blessed that child.
No, Billy, it ain’t the money.
Although Composers often put long, lonely hours into their artistry, they are just as impulsive as the other Artisans. They do not wait to consider their moves; rather, they act in the here and now, with little or no planning or preparation. Composers are seized by the act of artistic composition, as if caught up in a whirlwind. The act is their master, not the reverse. Composers paint or sculpt, they dance or skate, they write melodies or make recipes-or whatever-simply because they must. They climb the mountain because it is there. [Please Understand Me II]
Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer and conductor. He was one of only eleven EGOTs – those who have been awarded an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. He was also one of only two people to have won those four prizes and also a Pulitzer Prize (the other was Richard Rodgers).
Hamlisch was born in Manhattan to Viennese born Jewish parents, Lilly (née Schachter) and Max Hamlisch. His father was an accordionist and bandleader. Hamlisch was a child prodigy, and, by age five, he began mimicking the piano music he heard on the radio. A few months before he turned seven, in 1951, he was accepted into what is now the Juilliard School Pre-College Division. His first job was as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. Shortly after that, he was hired by producer Sam Spiegel to play piano at Spiegel’s parties. This connection led to his first film score, The Swimmer. His favorite musicals growing up were My Fair Lady, Gypsy, West Side Story, and Bye Bye Birdie. [Wikipedia]
“I’m devastated. He was my dear friend. He’s been in my life ever since the first day I met him in 1963, when he was my rehearsal pianist for “Funny Girl.” “The world will remember Marvin for his brilliant musical accomplishments, from “A Chorus Line” to “The Way We Were,” and so many others, but when I think of him now, it was his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity, and delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around. Just last night, I was trying to reach him, to tell him how much I loved him, and that I wanted to use an old song of his, that I had just heard for the first time. He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him.” Barbra Streisand
This ability to lose themselves in action accounts for the spectacular individual accomplishments of some Composers, and yet on their social side they show a kindness unmatched by all the other types. Composers are especially sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, and they sympathize freely with the sufferer. [Please Understand Me II]
“I only heard of Marvin’s death this morning whilst I was on holiday. I am still reeling. I saw him but six months ago. Although I knew Marvin before, I became a friend through a USA TV chat show when he was at the height of his Chorus Line, witty performing fame. No one knew who I was. Marvin went to the piano, played some of my melodies and said to the studio audience, ‘This is who Andrew is.’ No one other than a brilliant talent and a supremely generous composer and performer would have done that. We became firm friends ever since. Farewell Singular Sensation.” Andrew Lloyd Webber
I started studying music at the age of five and a half. My older sister was taking piano lessons. When her teacher left our apartment, I would get up on the piano bench and start picking out the notes that were part of my sister’s lessons. — Marvin Hamlisch