Peter Matz

Active - 1968 - 1994  |   Born - Nov 6, 1928   |   Died - Aug 9, 2002   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime

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Biography by AllMovie

The humble recipient of Grammys, Emmys, and a Clio, former chemical engineering major turned landmark composer/arranger/conductor Peter Matz was noted by his contemporaries not only for his musical achievements, but also for his remarkably colorful personality as well (Matz was often noted for inserting musical jokes into arrangements). A longtime collaborator of Barbra Streisand, the quick-witted composer with a warm smile endeared himself to his contemporaries with his friendly nature and philanthropic endeavors. A Pittsburgh native who studied chemistry at U.C.L.A., Matz displayed his love for music by playing for dance bands in college and relocating to Paris to study music shortly after graduation. Later refining his piano skills while living in New York, Matz became a rehearsal pianist for Harold Arlen's Broadway musical House of Flowers. Following up with work on Arlen's Jamaica found Matz making the acquaintance of Lena Horne, and shortly thereafter the burgeoning composer earned a Clio for the commercial that Horne and Matz collaborated on. Subsequently working with such luminaries as Marlene Dietrich, Noel Coward, Liza Minnelli, and Tony Bennett, he is credited with scoring over 140 television specials and movies. Matz received Emmys for his work on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the Kraft Musical Hall The Sound of Burt Bacharach special. In his later years, Matz was a key player in the Los Angeles Broadway musical revival show Reprise! Broadway's Best, in addition to lending his talents to numerous AIDS fund-raising concerts. Following a battle with lung cancer, Matz died in early August 2002 in Los Angeles, CA. He was 73.

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