André Previn started playing jazz as a teenager, having studied classical piano for many of his formative years. In the early 1950s, he was blown away by the bebop of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. By 1954, he was performing with some of those bebop masters. In 1956, Previn made his own jazz history. Along with drummer Shelley Manne and bass player Leroy Vinegar, he recorded the first jazz version of a Broadway score for “My Fair Lady.” It was the first jazz album to sell one million copies.
Conductor, composer, and pianist André Previn has received a number of awards and honors for his outstanding musical accomplishments. He holds both the Austrian and German Cross of Merit, was honored by the Kennedy Center for his lifetime achievements, and was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1996. He was presented the Glenn Gould Prize in Toronto on March 14, 2006. He has received several Grammy awards for his recordings. Most recently he was honored at 47th Grammy Awards in February 2005 for the recordings of his violin concerto Anne-Sophie and Bernstein’s Serenade featuring Anne-Sophie Mutter together with the Boston and London Symphony Orchestras. Musical America named him Musician of The Year, and his first opera A Streetcar Named Desire was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque.
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