Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012)
While Marvin Hamlisch was a first-rate arranger and a good composer, it's two tracks of his that did it for me. The title song to the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and the exciting piece Bond '77 from the same.
The glorious title track mixes arpeggiated, sliding chromaticisms and clean counterpoint, with luxurious 70s' arranging and studio production. In Bond '77, the British spy went kinda 'disco' in a long and exciting action music sequence with Barry brass blasts.
Hamlisch's is music of silk and diamonds. When I'm making string arrangements, I try to keep the quality of his work in mind as a benchmark.