Henry Mancini, La Pantera Rosa della musica americana
Henry Mancini, The Pink Panther of American Music
From the very popular soundtrack that accompanies the Pink Panther to Moon River of "Breakfast at Tiffany", the soundtracks that will remain in the history of the 900 bring his signature. Henry Mancini was born in Ohio from an Abruzzese family originally from Scanno (Aq). He approached music at the age of eight, thanks to his father Quinto, a worker in the iron and steel industry with a passion for flute. At the age of twelve he began to study piano, to then continue with the composition. In 1942, after finishing high school, he moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School. World War II prevented him from completing his studies: he was called in the army, and until 1945 he served in aeronautics and infantry. After the war was called as a pianist and arranger in the orchestra of Glenn Miller. Henry Mancini entered the world of cinema in 1952, when he was hired in the Universal Pictures music department. Success came to his second job with the producer: the film "The Story of Glenn Miller" (1954), based on the life of the great musician, earned Mancini his first Oscar nomination. The main successes of Henry Mancini were linked to his long and happy collaboration with the director Blake Edwards. Subsequently, Edwards entrusted Mancini with the soundtrack of his film Colazione da Tiffany (1961): Moon River was born, one of his most famous and beloved songs. Mancini was awarded two Oscars. In 1964 it was the turn of another great international success, the theme of the Pink Panther, composed by Mancini for the film of the same name by Edwards, and then included in all subsequent episodes of the series and in the cartoons of the Pink Panther. The musician was then awarded the fourth Oscar for original music by Victor Victoria (1982), also directed by Blake Edwards. In over forty years of film career, Henry Mancini signed the music for over a hundred films and won four Oscars out of 18 nominations, to which he added 20 Grammys and two Emmys. He published more than 50 albums, with over 300 million copies sold all over the world, and composed over 500 songs. On April 13, 2004, the United States issued a 37 cents commemorative stamp in his honor, where Mancini is portrayed while directing in front of an audience of spectators, with the Pink Panther pointing at him from a corner. In the background the titles of the most famous films of which he edited the music flow.