Editor’s note: This story appeared in the Gazette in July 1995. Andre Previn died this week at the age of 89.

It’s a homecoming of sorts, and a kindness to the community.

Andre Previn and three of his friends will sit in concert on the stage of the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown on August 25 to raise funds for the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust and the Vineyard Museum.

Long a renowned conductor, performer and composer, Mr. Previn has not summered on the Island for some two decades. Early this year, however, he and his wife, Heather, bought a home in the Lake Tashmoo area. They are determined to spend as much time here as possible, and Mr. Previn not only readily agreed to do a benefit performance but made arrangements for three other world-class musicians to join him.

Those years ago when he came to the Vineyard, Mr. Previn said during an interview at his home last week, “It wasn’t my house. This is our house. It’s much more personal. We don’t want to come here just summers, but we can’t be here full time because you can’t fight the fog to make a plane to Vienna. I have such a peripatetic life. But we’re trying to fix it so we have periodic time here, and I don’t mean just weekends.”

Peripatetic is the word, all right. His home base is in Westchester County outside of Manhattan, but he’s now devoting a good deal of time to music at Tanglewood in western Massachusetts — he recently spent four consecutive days of recording sessions at 5 a.m. with cellist Yo Yo Ma because it will be another year before the two artists are in the same part of the world again — and he has firm commitments in New York and London, Boston and Vienna, Amsterdam and Philadelphia and Hamburg. Among other places.

He currently is composing an opera that has been commissioned by the San Francisco Opera Company.

The balance of his musical life has not changed much in recent years, he said. He considers himself a classical composer — he dislikes the category “classical” but finds he can’t avoid it — who loves to play the piano and compose. And, in recent years, he returns to his roots and does a jazz recording now and then.

The world of music is in perpetual trouble, Mr. Previn noted. “Orchestras the world over are struggling, mainly because there is absolutely no government support and what’s happening to the National Endowment for the Arts is a disgrace,” he said, referring to budget cuts in the nation’s capital.

On the other hand, “This country turns out better musicians than any place in the world.” The schools are better in the U.S., he believes, and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he teaches, produces young musicians of superlative skill. “When I rehearse with Curtis kids I have to remind myself I’m not with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Young performers today all play rings around previous generations.”

Classical music also is drawing young audiences, Mr. Previn said, but contemporary composers have a rough road. In order to appeal to the widest possible audiences, orchestras tend to rely on established warhorses, ignoring contemporary works. “There are remarkable and very wonderful composers who have a hell of a time getting performed,” he said. In his own case, he frankly acknowledges that his compositions are aided by the fact that he is a well-known conductor and performer.

When the Previns bought their new home, they made friends with Sharon Purdy, the real estate agent who sold them the house. Mrs. Purdy, who has been active in both the Vineyard Museum and Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, had no difficulty at all in winning his quick agreement to do a concert here.

“It would be difficult to organize if a lot of people were involved,” Mr. Previn said, “but we can do a serious, straight-forward chamber evening.” Violinist Avi Kavafian, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han will join him at the Old Whaling Church; all are celebrated chamber players. Mr. Previn and Miss Han will play a Mozart four-hand piano sonata, and Mr. Finckel and Miss Han, who are married, will play a cello sonata that Yo Yo Ma commissioned Mr. Previn to write. After intermission, Mssrs. Previn, Kavafian and Finckel will play the Mendelssohn Trio.

Tickets, available from both organizations, will be $25 each for the performance; admittance to the post-performance champagne reception for the artists will be another $25.

After the interview at their home, Andre and Heather Previn drove to the Old Whaling Church, where he checked the Steinway and noted the adjustments that David Stanwood will need to make, estimated the excellence of the acoustics — “Never use amplification. Never,” he told the Preservation Trust’s Chris Scott — and marveled at the light streaming in the windows.

“Look at this,” Mr. Previn said, gesturing at the distinctive interior of the structure. “This building could only be in America. In no other country could this building exist.”

His enchantment with the Island is shared by his wife. A native of Scotland, this is her first exposure to the Vineyard, but she is emphatic in her opinion. “I want to move here permanently,” she said, modulating her voice just out of the ear range of her musician husband. “I want to move here as soon as possible. The sense of community you have here simply has been lost in too many places.”