Marvin Hamlisch, film-score and Broadway composer and arranger, born June 2 1944, died August 6 2012
From the Telegraph obit:
A classic moment in Academy Awards history occurred in 1974 when, aged 30, Hamlisch picked up three Oscars in one evening — two (for best score and best song) for The Way We Were and one (for best musical adaptation) for The Sting. Appearing uncharacteristically abashed by the windfall, he stepped to the podium, looked out at the audience and observed: “I think we can now talk to each other as friends” — a characteristic wisecrack that earned him a new sideline as a sought-after guest on chat shows.
I had always understood that Hamlisch’s comment was ‘addressed’ to the shade of of Scott Joplin, the original composer of the music used in ’The Sting.’ Anyway, Hamlisch deserves credit for reviving interest in ragtime as a whole and Scott Joplin in particular. I’d always assumed that Joshua Rifkin was the pianist on the ‘Sting’ soundtack, but I now understand it was Hamlisch himself.
I was going to post a clip of Joplin’s ‘The Entertainer,‘ the jaunty theme tune of ‘The Sting,’ but I decided that the hauntingly beautiful ‘Solace – A Mexican Serenade’ (1909) was more appropriate. I think the pianist here is Rifkin:
New York Times obit, here.