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Composer and pianist Richard Rodney Bennett dies

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LONDON >> Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, a British composer, pianist and arranger who was nominated three times for Academy Awards, has died in New York City at age 76.

His publisher Novello & Co. said in a statement today that Bennett died on Dec. 24 following a brief illness.

He was nominated for Oscars for the scores for “Far from the Madding Crowd” in 1967, “Nicholas and Alexandra” in 1971 and “Murder on the Orient Express” in 1974.

A student of Pierre Boulez in 1957-58, Bennett’s work evolved from the avant-garde to a more tonal style. As a pianist, he performed with singer Claire Martin and he recorded music by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Harold Arlen.

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