Gay Composer/Pianist Richard Rodney Bennett Dies


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

Bennett 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.

Bennett\'s extensive output included more than 200 works for the concert hall and 50 scores for film and television, five operas and miscellaneous works including settings of Christmas carols.

\"Richard was the most complete musician of his generation

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