Hamlisch's best-known works include the scores for such movies as The Sting, Sophie's Choice, Ordinary People and The Way We Were, as well as his adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for The Sting. He also composed scores for Broadway shows, including A Chorus Line. Among the numerous awards he won for his work were three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, three Golden Globes and a Pulitzer Prize.
Born in New York City, Hamlisch was considered a musical prodigy and was accepted into the Juilliard School of Music at age 6. He graduated from Queens College in 1967.
At the time of his death, Hamlisch was the principal conductor for several symphony orchestras around the country, including in Pittsburgh, Dallas, Seattle, Milwaukee, Wis., and San Diego, Calif. In 2009, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Soundtrack Awards in Belgium.
In July, Hamlisch renewed his contract with the Pasadena Pops Orchestra for two more years, with the option of extending it through 2015. Next week, he was going to be announced as the principal pops conductor for the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was also scheduled to conduct the New York Philharmonic for its 2012 New Year's Eve concert.
Hamlisch is survived by his wife, Terre.