Henry Mancini

American composer, conductor and arranger (Cleveland, 1924 – Los Angeles, 1994)

One of the greatest composers in the history of film, Henry Mancini was the author of almost 300 works, including the famous Pink Panther theme, Peter Gunn, Moon River and Charade. He won twenty Grammy Awards, four Academy Awards and a Golden Globe.

In 1942, he started attending the Juilliard School of Music in New York; the following year, Henry Mancini’s studies are interrupted since he had to join the United States Army. After completing his military service, he became a pianist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, led by 'Everyman' Tex Beneke. He furthered his skills in composition, counterpoint, harmony and orchestration with the composers Ernst Krenek and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

In the early 1950s, Mancini started composing music for several films joining the Universal Pictures music department. During the following six years, he composed scores for over 100 films, most notably The Glenn Miller Story, The Benny Goodman Story and The Touch of Evil. In 1958, he left Universal-International to work as an independent composer/arranger. Soon after that, he met writer/producer Blake Edwards, with whom he forged an extremely successful professional relationship, as well as a very deep friendship. Together, they collaborated on 30 films. Henry Mancini’s career achieved international success also thanks to some artists who decided to record Mancini's songs, including Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams.

Apart from composing, Mancini also performed as a conductor: he could fulfill over fifty commitments per year with the most important orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), the Israel Philharmonic, the Boston Pops and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

6 key dates in the life of Henry Mancini:

1932 His father, Quinto, made him begin music lessons

1952 Joined the Universal-International music department

1958 Started working with Blake Edwards

1982 Started working on the Remington Steele theme

1982 Was awarded his star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame

1994 Received the Artist Circle Award

Official website

Biography from Radio France’s document database