UPDATE: Pasadena POPS Will Not Cancel Saturday's Arboretum Concert Despite Hamlisch's Death

Conductor Marvin Hamlisch reportedly succumbed to an unspecified brief illness.

Academy Award-winning composer and Pasadena Symphony and POPS conductor Marvin Hamlisch died Monday. He was 68 years old.

Family spokesman Jason Lee told the Associated Press the A Chorus Line composer's death followed a brief illness, but did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS Association struggled to cope with the news of Hamlisch's death Tuesday morning.

"We're all deeply, deeply saddened by the loss," Spokesman Ivan Schustak said, adding that Hamlisch's death was a loss not just for the POPS, but "the entire entertainment community."

Symphony and POPS President Melinda Shea called Hamlisch's death "unexpected." In fact, last month he signed on for three more years with the organization.

"He'd pulled a back muscle recently, but there was nothing serious. He had some really wonderful new endeavors," Shea told The Los Angeles Times. "It's just such a tragedy that this has happened, when he was still so young."

Hamlisch took home Oscars for both The Sting and The Way We Were in 1974. A year later, he took Broadway by storm and scored a Tony Award for his ground-breaking musical A Chorus Line.

All told, Hamlisch racked up three Academy Awards, four Emmys, a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony over the course of his illustrious career.

He thrilled Arcadia audiences with the POPS' at the .

Despite Hamlisch's death, the POPS will perform Saturday at the Arboretum as scheduled. 

"We have absolutely no plans to cancel any shows," Schustak said. "The show must go on."

Have pictures of Hamlisch or his Arboretum concerts? Pay tribute to a legendary artist and upload them to this article to share with the Patch community.

Check Patch later for further details on Hamlisch's death and how it will affect the Pasadena Symphony Organization.

Natalie Ragus August 07, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Honestly, this is really shocking. Less than six weeks ago, Hamlisch sat down at a piano set up at the Arboretum and played "Singular Sensation" from A Chorus Line to garner publicity for the POPS' upcoming summer season. He really had a charisma about him. His presence was palpable.
Sue August 08, 2012 at 02:22 AM
This is so sad. I saw him in the opening show of the Pops at the Arboretum with Liza Minelli. He will be remembered not only for his compositions and arrangements, but for being an advocate for arts in the schools.
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