California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

August 09, 2012Mary Beth Barber

California Arts Council Director's Statement on the Death of Marvin Hamlisch

Sacramento -
Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council, made the following statement in response to the news of the death of Marvin Hamlisch:

"California and the nation has lost a talented artist and amazing human being," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council, upon hearing of Hamlisch's death. "He was generous with his musical talent, and an extraordinary supporter of the arts and arts education, including the California Arts Council and its programs. He will be missed."

Marvin Hamlisch was an award-winning composer and musician famous for his movie and theater scores, including music from the movies The Way We Were and The Sting, and the Broadway hit A Chorus Line. More recently he had signed on for an additional two-year contract as the principal conductor of the Pasadena Pops Orchestra, where he had been conducting since 2009.

Hamlisch's role as an "Arts Driver" in the California Arts Council's "Create a State" campaign to raise $40 million through sales of California Arts License Plates was presented before the sold-out Pasadena Pops concert on July 21, 2012 at the Los Angeles County Arboretum - the last concert he conducted, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

Hamlisch died on Monday, August 6, 2012, in Los Angeles, after a brief illness, according to news reports. More information may be found on media outlet websites such as:

Members of the media may contact: Mary Beth Barber, Information Officer, at 916-322-6588 or, or go to

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the Arts and Creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Vice Chair William Turner, Wylie Aitken, Michael Alexander, Andrew Green, Adam Hubbard, Charmaine Jefferson, Terry Lenihan, Susan Steinhauser, and Rosalind Wyman.

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