News | February 12, 2015

Library of Congress Receives Papers of American Composer Marvin Hamlisch

The Library of Congress is acquiring the manuscripts, papers and related personal items of celebrated American composer, pianist and conductor Marvin Hamlisch. The collection, donated by Hamlisch’s wife, Terre Blair Hamlisch, is now open to researchers.

Marvin Hamlisch is known for his extensive body of work, which includes his score for the Broadway musical, "A Chorus Line," and 45 scores for films, beginning with "The Swimmer" in 1968 and including "The Way We Were," "The Sting," (adapted from the works of Scott Joplin) "The Spy Who Loved Me," and "Ice Castles," continuing through to "The Informant" in 2009. His final film score was for HBO’s "Liberace—Behind the Candelabra" cablecast in 2013. Many of the films also included hit songs composed by Hamlisch, including "The Way We Were," "Nobody Does it Better," and "Looking Through the Eyes of Love." His other musicals were "They’re Playing Our Song," "The Goodbye Girl," "Sweet Smell of Success" and "Jean." He is also known for a concert work, "Anatomy of Peace" (Symphonic Suite in one Movement For full Orchestra/Chorus/Child Vocal Soloist).

In addition to composing, Hamlisch was principal pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony and Pops, the Seattle Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Colorado Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. He conducted, arranged for and accompanied singers including Groucho Marx, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, and Idina Menzel. He also regularly performed as a pianist and raconteur, with a dazzling ability to improvise songs on the spot.

The Hamlisch Collection includes original music manuscripts and scores for most of his films, musicals, songs, and concert pieces, including rare and unknown works - such as a manuscript for a musical version of Tennessee Williams’ "The Glass Menagerie" that Hamlisch composed ca. 1960, when he was 16 years old. The collection also includes personal correspondence, audio-visual materials, photographs and personal items. Hamlisch was honored with all four major American entertainment awards: the Emmy, the Grammy, the Oscar (Academy Award), and the Tony—only 12 people have received all of these awards to date. Hamlisch is one of only two to have also received the Pulitzer Prize. The Hamlisch Collection is the only one in which all of these awards are maintained together as part of a single collection. The Hamlisch awards will be displayed in the Library’s Music Division, in its Performing Arts Reading Room.

The Hamlisch Collection will be preserved at the Library, where it will join the Library’s unparalleled collection of papers and manuscripts of major songwriters, and film and Broadway composers, including George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, Leonard Bernstein, Erich Korngold, and David Raksin. The Hamlisch Collection will be made available to musicologists, scholars, musicians, performers, producers, and those interested in Hamlisch’s extraordinary life and work.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website,