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Henry Mancini

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Cleveland, United States (1924 – 1994)

Henry Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994) was an Academy Award-winning American composer, conductor and arranger. He is remembered particularly for being a composer of film and television scores - his best-known works are the jazz-idiom theme to The Pink Panther film series and Moon River. Mancini won a record number of Grammy awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

Mancini was born Enrico Nicola Mancini in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 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 flute 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 high school, 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 army. In 1945, he participated in the liberation of a South German concentration camp.

Mancini recorded over 90 albums, in styles ranging from big band to classical to pop. Eight of these albums were certified gold by The Recording Industry Association of America. He had a 20 year contract with RCA Records, resulting in 60 commercial record albums that made him a household name composer of easy listening music.

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