Twice Oscar-nominated composer Richard Robbins, longtime collaborator of producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, has died. He was 71 and died November 7 at his home in Rhineback, NY of Parkinson’s disease, his longtime partner Michael Schell confirmed this week. Robbins was nominated for Best Original Score for Howards End (1992) and The Remains Of The Day (1993). Scores for other Merchant-Ivory films included A Room With A View, Jefferson In Paris, Mr. And Mrs. Bridge, The Europeans and The White Countess and Maurice. “I always felt that if anything happened to him and we didn’t have his music, then it really wouldn’t be a Merchant-Ivory film,” James Ivory said in an interview. Although his work was influenced by minimalist composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich, Robbins also occasionally wrote lushly orchestrated music, including for 1987’s Maurice, based on the E.M. Forster novel. Robbins’ work was honored in 1996 at a gala concert at Carnegie Hall to benefit AIDS research.
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