LONDON Composer Richard Rodney Bennett died at age 76 on Christmas Eve in New York City, sparking tributes on both sides of the Atlantic.
The British born composer, a three-time Oscar nominee, is perhaps best known for his film and TV scores, including Hugh Grant starrer Four Weddings and a Funeral, Murder on the Orient Express and Doctor Who. Bennett died peacefully in NYC where he had lived for more than 20 years.
Bennett, always known by his three names, secured a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for his score to Murder on the Orient Express in 1974 which starred Albert Finney as detective Hercule Poirot.
He was three times nominated for an Oscar for Nicholas and Alexandra in 1971 and Far From The Madding Crowd in 1967 in addition to a tilt for Murder on the Orient Express in the same year he won the BAFTA.
David Arnold, the composer whose resume boasts the Quantum of Solace score, hailed him as "one of our greats" via social media.
"Sad news about Richard Rodney Bennett," he said on Twitter.
Sir Nicholas Kenyon, managing director of London's Barbican arts centre, described Bennett on the BBC News website as "one of the most rounded musicians of our time."
Jazz singer Ann Hampton Callaway wrote on Facebook: "Saddened by the loss of brilliant composer, arranger, pianist and friend, Richard Rodney Bennett.
"He was one of the first friends of the music world to welcome me to New York, teach me great songs, accompany and arrange for me and record with me. He had superb taste, great talent and a wicked sense of humor."
Bennett is often reported as saying he believed the best film music he composed was for Murder on the Orient Express, specifically the scene in which the train is first seen leaving the station at Istanbul.
His other film credits included Billy Liar, The Nanny, Equus, Yanks and Enchanted April.
He was knighted in 1998 for services to music.