Michel Legrand won three coveted Academy Awards and an impressive collection of five Grammy accolades. Furthermore, he garnered recognition for his outstanding talent with an Emmy nomination. In 1969, he achieved his first Oscar victory for the unforgettable melody “The Windmills of Your Mind”. Subsequently, he crafted extraordinary musical compositions for acclaimed films like Summer of ’42 in 1972 and Yentl in 1984.

Michel Legrand, a multi-talented musician born on February 24th, 1932 in Bécon-les-Bruyères, defies categorization due to his incredible versatility as a singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, conductor, and producer. Excelling in various musical genres including film soundtracks, French ‘chanson,’ jazz, and classical music, Legrand’s creativity and ambition seem to know no bounds. He grew up in a solitary childhood with his sister, Christiane, revealing his prodigious musical talent by playing the piano at just four years old. Eventually, Legrand trained at the Paris Conservatoire for seven years, learning from renowned teachers like Nadia Boulanger, Henri Challan, Noël Gallon, and Lucette Descaves, and winning multiple awards for his skills in counterpoint, piano, fugue, and ‘solfège.’

After the war, Legrand discovered his passion for jazz after attending a concert by Dizzy Gillespie, and soon mastered a dozen instruments by the time he graduated from the Conservatoire in 1949. Thanks to introductions from his father, Legrand began working as an accompanist for many of the major French stars of the day, including Henri Salvador, Juliette Gréco, Zizi Jeanmaire, and Catherine Sauvage. In 1954, Legrand was commissioned by American record label Columbia-EMI to create an album of English adaptations of French classics, resulting in the massively successful album “I Love Paris,” which sold 8 million copies and turned Legrand into a star both domestically and internationally. This led to a position as Maurice Chevalier’s musical director and numerous tours across the United States.