Passage: André Previn


"Sunday Morning" looks back at the composer, conductor, pianist and music director who died this past week after a lifetime of crossing musical boundaries.

CBS News

It happened this past week: the music world lost one of its shining lights, André Previn. The composer, conductor, pianist and music director died Thursday at his home in Manhattan.

A versatile performer who blurred the lines between classical, jazz and pop, Previn was born in Berlin in 1929. His family fled Germany in 1938, first to Paris, before settling in Los Angeles.

A child prodigy, Previn began studying music at age six, and in his early teens he worked in a movie theater improvising piano scores for silent films.

By 40, he was leading the Houston Symphony, before moving on to the London Symphony Orchestra and eventually the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  But unlike many classical artists, Previn was equally at home playing jazz, as he told "Sunday Morning" back in 1993:

"I've arrived at a point in age and arrived at a point in career where … nobody's going to raise an eyebrow anymore," he said. "I can more or less do what I like … and I think it's great fun to play jazz."

In addition to his ten Grammys, Previn won four Academy Awards for his work scoring films, including "Porgy and Bess," "Gigi" and "My Fair Lady."

Previn was married five times. His third wife was actress Mia Farrow. They had six children.

In a statement, Farrow paid tribute to Previn, writing: "See you in the Morning beloved friend. May you rest in glorious symphonies."

Andre Previn was 89.