Michel Legrand

One of the most acclaimed film composers of his generation, Michel Legrand is also a sophisticated jazz pianist and songwriter whose lyrical sound evokes the romance, style, and cool élan of Paris. A classical piano prodigy, Legrand emerged in the 1950s with a series of successful mood albums that led to his landmark 1958 recording Legrand Jazz with Miles Davis, Ben Webster, Bill Evans, and others. He quickly moved into film composing, his swinging arrangements helping to define the sound of the French New Wave on films like Jean-Luc Godard’s My Life to Live and Agnes Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7. He also enjoyed a long creative partnership with director Jacques Demy that started with his innovative musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Embraced by Hollywood, Legrand collaborated regularly with songwriters Marilyn & Alan Bergman, winning Academy Awards for their work on such iconic films as 1968’s The Thomas Crown Affair and 1983’s Yentl. Along with his storied soundtracks, Legrand continued to record his own albums, like his 1968 trio album At Shelly’s Manne-Hole, as well as larger productions with artists like Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Stephane Grappelli, and Natalie Dessay, among others. With his over-60-year career, Legrand is a living legend who still finds new avenues to explore. In 2017, he returned to his classical roots with Michel Legrand: Concerto pour piano; Concerto pour violoncelle, and in 2018 he scored director Peter Bogdanovich’s completed version of Orson Welles’ film The Other Side of the Wind.