Richard Robbins | Films' composer, 71

Posted: November 23, 2012

Richard Robbins, 71, the composer who created memorable scores for such films as A Room With a View, Howards End, and The Remains of the Day during a quarter-century collaboration with director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, died Nov. 7 in Rhinebeck, N.Y., of Parkinson's disease, said Michael Schell, his longtime partner.

Mr. Robbins created the score for nearly every Merchant-Ivory film from The Europeans in 1979 to The White Countess in 2005. He earned back-to-back Academy Award nominations in 1992 and 1993 for his original music for Merchant-Ivory productions.

"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 last week. "His music was integral to our films."

Although his compositions were heavily influenced by the minimalist composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich, Mr. Robbins also occasionally wrote romantic, lushly orchestrated music, including for Maurice, the 1987 film based on the E.M. Forster novel. The score won a top award at the Venice Film Festival, and Robbins often described it as his favorite. - L.A. Times

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