He is a conductor, composer and pianist. André Previn’s musical life is marked by impressive variety. After fleeing Germany in 1938, his family settled in the USA. André Previn, who had received piano lessons already in his early childhood, refined his piano playing and very quickly developed into a famous jazz pianist. He has performed regularly with jazz greats including Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter and Billie Holiday.
Already at the age of 16, he was commissioned by the film production company MGM, for which he went on to compose soundtracks for numerous movies. He received Oscars for Best Original Music Score for the movies Gigi, My Fair Lady, Porgy and Bess, as well as Irma la Douce. After 16 years in Hollywood, he was inspired to move on: Urged by the desire to focus on a career in classical music, in the following years he became music director of orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In contrast to the “maestro” cliché, he remained down-to-earth during all these years. As he put it, “When you're working with music that is invariably better than you are, it's difficult to become swell-headed.”
André Previn has also celebrated major successes with his own compositions, including operas and a violin concerto for Anne-Sophie Mutter that is also named after her and for which he won one of his numerous Grammys. André Previn is a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) and received the Glenn Gould Award as well as numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards, including by the Kennedy Center and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the Recording Academy.