Previn's family left Berlin for Paris in 1938, and then moved to Los Angeles after a year or so. He became a US citizen in 1943. Whilst still at high school in 1946 he began arranging Hollywood film scores for MGM. During his military service in San Francisco (1951-52), he studied conducting privately with Pierre Monteux.
He continued to work for MGM until the 1960s, and in 1967 he succeeded John Barbirolli as music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and from 1968 until 1979 was principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. From 1976 until 1984 he was music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, from 1985 until 1988 he was principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and from 1985 until 1989 music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
He also worked in television, most notoriously appearing as 'Mr Preview' on the Morecombe and Wise show in the UK in 1971.
Previn died in Manhattan, New York, USA on 28 February 2019, aged eighty-nine (or eighty-eight).
Ensemble. Visits to the Doctor - Ron Bierman appreciates music by John Adams, Mozart and Rachmaninov from Ingrid Fliter, Edo de Waart and the San Diego Symphony
CD Spotlight. The Magic of Ballets Russes - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Warner Classics' box set. '... a gem which should be on the shelves of all those interested in the music of the early decades of the twentieth century ...'
Ensemble. Intimately Done - Paul Sarcich was at the Echoes Festival's PanAmericana concert, which illustrated the cross-influence between North and South American music
Ensemble. All the Magic of the Original - Piano arrangements played by Jenny Lin, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
An Invaluable Book - Gergely Hubai's 'Torn Music: Rejected film scores, a selected history', recommended by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Unmistakably American - William Bolcom's 'A View from the Bridge', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Marvelously Incisive - Rózsa and Korngold violin concertos, recommended by Howard Smith. '... breathtaking virtuosity from soloist and orchestra alike.'
Ensemble. A Real Barnburner - Another report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival, by Lawrence Budmen
What makes a conductor? - 'Conductors in Conversation' by Jeannine Wagar, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz
CD Spotlight. Often ravishing - Music by Debussy, Prokofiev, Britten and Ravel, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... admirably encompassed ...'