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A tribute concert honoring a 'Singular Sensation'

Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald Credit: Audra McDonald (Getty Images)

For its annual New Year's Eve concert, the New York Philharmonic will highlight the work of the late composer Marvin Hamlisch, who often conducted concerts there. We reached out to some performers for their thoughts on what appeals to them about Hamlisch, who was best known for the scores of "A Chorus Line" and countless films.

Audra McDonald
"What I loved about him was that he was so jazzed and enthused about what he was doing. With all his success being the icon that he was, he had every right to be jaded. But he was just the opposite. He still had all the youthful joy and enthusiasm that he had when he began. That's just who he was and it was infectious."

Raul Esparza
"There is a very strong melodic line at the center of what Marvin writes and there is an optimism at the core of every single note of 'A Chorus Line.' Marvin's shows begin and end with hope. He believes in joy and possibilities."

Joshua Bell
"He told stories through music and in that way he's not all that different from Schubert. He wrote beautiful tunes and told beautiful stories through music."

Michael Feinstein
"Marvin seemed to have an instinct about what was singable, even if it was very complex. He soaked up everything. Nothing was wasted on Marvin; in music and in human nature, and in character."

Kelli O'Hara
"I think of heart. There is a cynicism out there sometimes about the heart in a cynical way because then it is not that uncomfortable. With Marvin, his thoughts on the heart were not simple but pure. There was no cynicism in it. "I feel like I was working with a changer of the musical world when I collaborated with him."

How to watch: "One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch" is at Lincoln Center on Monday at 7:30 p.m., Broadway at 65th St., It airs on WNET/13 at 8 p.m.

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