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Henry Mancini

From Wind Repertory Project
Henry Mancini

Biography

Enrico Nicola "Henry" Mancini (16 April 1924, Cleveland, Ohio – 14 June 1994, Los Angeles) was an American composer, conductor and arranger, who is best remembered for his film and television scores. Often cited as one of the greatest composers in the history of film, he won four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

Mancini was born in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland, and was raised near Pittsburgh, in the steel town of West Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. His parents emigrated from the Abruzzo region of Italy. Mancini's father Quinto was a steelworker, who made his only child begin piccolo lessons at the age of eight. When Mancini was 12 years old, he began piano lessons. Quinto and Henry played flute together in the Aliquippa Italian immigrant band, Sons of Italy. After graduating from Aliquippa High School in 1942, Mancini attended the renowned Juilliard School of Music in New York. In 1943, after roughly one year at Juilliard, his studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the United States Army. In 1945, he participated in the liberation of a concentration camp in southern Germany.

Newly discharged, Mancini entered the music industry. Entering 1946, he became a pianist and arranger for the newly re-formed Glenn Miller Orchestra, led by 'Everyman' Tex Beneke. After World War II, Mancini broadened his skills in composition, counterpoint, harmony and orchestration during studies opening with the composers Ernst Krenek and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. In 1952, Mancini joined the Universal Pictures music department. During the next six years, he contributed music to over 100 movies, most notably The Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Came from Outer Space, Tarantula, This Island Earth, The Glenn Miller Story (for which he received his first Academy Award nomination), The Benny Goodman Story and Orson Welles' Touch of Evil. During this time, he also wrote some popular songs. His first hit was a single by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians titled I Won't Let You Out of My Heart.

Mancini was nominated for an unprecedented 72 Grammys, winning 20. Additionally he was nominated for 18 Academy Awards, winning four (The Glenn Miller Story, Moon River, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Days of Wine and Roses. He also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for two Emmys.

His best known works include the jazz-idiom theme to The Pink Panther film series (The Pink Panther Theme) and the theme to the Peter Gunn television series, the latter of which won the first ever Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Mancini had a long collaboration with the film director Blake Edwards.


Works for Winds

References