Lyricists and composers agent Alvin Bart dies

He repped Elmer Bernstein and Henry Mancini

Alvin Bart, “the grand old man” repping composers and lyricists, died of heart failure in Berkeley, Calif., on Nov. 19. He was 86.

Bart’s roster of clients included Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini, Bill Conti, Michel Legrand, Lalo Schifrin, Andre Previn, Hal David and Marilyn and Alan Bergman. His negotiating skills and dedication to his clients resulted in loyalty that lasted throughout his career.

“I love music, I love being associated with film music,” he told Daily Variety in a 1985 interview. “I’ve never wanted to represent anyone else.

Brooklyn native Bart started out as a fashion photog for advertising agencies in the late 1950s. During that time, his friend and Army buddy, Bernstein, persuaded him to move to Hollywood. His first job in the entertainment industry was in the music department of Revue Studio, the production arm of MCA. Later, he joined MCA as a music agent. When MCA Artists was disbanded in the early 1960s, Bart went on to work at several agencies before setting up his own Bart-Levy and Associates in 1970 with Michael Levy, head of literary staff at Chartwell Agency. When Levy branched off on his own in 1982, the percentary became Bart-Milander firm, repping some 75 lyricists. An association with William Morris allowed the percentery to rep all WMA’s musical acts for work in a film.

The arrangement enabled studios looking for a song-oriented score to “one-stop shop” through Bart-Milander, and acquire a composer, lyricist and performers in one fell swoop, he told Daily Variety in a July 1985 interview.

Bart retired in 1990, saying he had “done it all” in his 30 years of working with “wonderful and talented” artists and filmmakers.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Margo, a son and a daughter.

Donations in his name may be made to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940.

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