Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Music Of Henry Mancini Comes to The Soraya This Month

The Music Of Henry Mancini Comes to The Soraya This MonthAn American icon comes home. During the early years of his career, American composer, conductor and arranger Henry Mancini and his family lived not far from where California State University, Northridge campus now stands. On Saturday, October 13 at 8pm, Mancini's music comes home to Northridge as The Soraya presents Moon River and the Music of Henry Mancini. Starring Monica Mancini with special guest three-time Tony nominated Joshua Henry, Moon River and the Music of Henry Mancini features Gregg Field as Music Director and Chris Walden conducting the New West Symphony.

"Honoring Henry Mancini and his legacy is the perfect evening to launch this year's Hollywood tribute series," said Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of The Soraya. "We are thrilled that his daughter Monica, who has become one of the most important proponents of his work and legacy, with her husband music director Gregg Field, were able to help assemble and choose this special program of the best of Henry Mancini's work."

About Moon River and the Music of Henry Mancini

>From "Moon River" to "Days of Wine and Roses" to the "Peter Gunn Theme," the music of Henry Mancini has helped define American film and television soundtracks for nearly five decades, and earned the legendary composer four Academy Awards, twenty Grammy Awards and numerous other honors, including a U.S. Postage Stamp.

Moon River and the Music of Henry Mancini is the product of daughter Monica and her husband Music Director Gregg Field. The program includes well known favorites such as "The Pink Panther," but also lesser known pieces such as music from, Victor/Victoria and "Slow Hot Wind" from the 1950's TV show Mr. Lucky.

The evening's special guest is three-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway star Joshua Henry, who just completed starring as Billy Bigelow on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. Previously Los Angeles audiences saw him as Aaron Burr in Hamilton at the Pantages Theatre, and Broadway audiences saw him as Jake in The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and in American Idiot, The Scottsboro Boys, Violet, and Shuffle Along.

Moon River and the Music of Henry Mancini will also feature the return of The Soraya's frequent guests, the New West Symphony under the baton of conductor Chris Walden.

"We are so happy that the New West Symphony conducted by Chris Walden is part of this program," said Steingraber. "They will also accompany the 1925 silent horror classic The Phantom of the Opera. These programs are part of our on-going explorations of film music and film composers. Later in the season we have a concert of composer Harold Arlen (The Wizard of Oz, A Star of Born), the stage version of the classic film Singin' in the Rain, the legendary Disney Silly Symphonies, and the Los Angeles premiere of Danny Elfman's symphonic Eleven Eleven."

Single tickets for Moon River and the Music of Henry Mancini beginning at $44 are now available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 818-677-3000. Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330. Ticket prices subject to change.

About Monica Mancini and Gregg Field
Double-Grammy nominated vocalist Monica Mancini has carved out an impressive career as a concert performer, appearing with major symphony orchestras worldwide, including the Chicago Symphony, New York Pops, Boston Pops, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony and the London Metropolitan Orchestra.

She began singing early on as a member of the Henry Mancini Chorus, which led to a successful career in the Los Angeles studios, where she appeared on countless film scores and recordings with such notable artists as Placido Domingo, Quincy Jones, and Michael Jackson. Her debut CD, simply titled Monica Mancini was the companion to her PBS television special, Monica Mancini: On Record.

Monica released her fifth album I've Loved These Days - a collection of classic 60s songs featuring collaborations with Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne, and Take 6, arranged for full orchestra.

To celebrate the release of the USPS Henry Mancini Commemorative Postage Stamp, Monica kicked off an extensive 60-city tour, followed by sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, Boston Symphony Hall and Tanglewood with John Williams and the Boston Pops.

The New York Times has described Mancini's rich, expressive voice as "the glamorous vocal equivalent to diamonds flashing." On her approach to interpreting a song, she says, "I always keep in mind the composers' intention because I believe melodies and lyrics are crafted with a definite purpose. I want to bring out the beauty of the writer's word through music."

Gregg Field recently received a 2018 Emmy Award as Music Director for Tony Bennett: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He has written many arrangements for the Tonight Show orchestra as well as appearing on Saturday Night Live, The Merv Griffin Show and Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music. He has toured or recorded with Donald Byrd, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Harry James, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter and an impressive roster of singers, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Tormé, Dianne Schuur, Tony Bennett and Joe Williams. In addition to performing, Field is also a member of the faculty of the University of Southern California and is active as a record producer. His records with Basie included Grammy-award-winning albums and, following the leader's death, he has worked with all-star alumni bands, including the Frank Wess - Harry Edison all-star band which recorded at the 1989 and 1990 Fujitsu-Concord Jazz Festivals in Tokyo. In 1990 he was a member of an all-star band led by Ray Anthony for a recording session, which Field also produced. In 1991, he worked with Bill Berry and his LA Big Band for concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.

A superbly accomplished drummer, equipped to play in almost any setting, Field is at his considerable best playing in a mainstream big band. The enthusiastic swing of his performances ensures that a great tradition on jazz drumming continues into the early years of the new millennium.

About Henry Mancini and the Legacy

Henry Mancini was one of the most versatile talents in contemporary music. The Mancini name is synonymous with great motion picture and television music, fine recordings and international concert performances. During his lifetime, Mancini was nominated for 72 GRAMMY Awards, winning 20. He was nominated for 18 Academy Awards winning four, honored with a Golden Globe Award and nominated for two Emmy Awards.

Mancini created many memorable film scores including Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Pink Panther, Days of Wine and Roses, Hatari!, Charade, Victor/Victoria, 10, Darling Lili, Arabesque, and The Glass Menagerie. He also wrote for a number of television films including The Thorn Birds and The Shadow Box, as well as television themes including Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky, NBC Election Night Theme, Newhart, Remington Steele and Hotel. Mancini recorded over 90 albums with styles varying from big band to jazz to classical to pop, eight of which were certified gold by The Recording Industry Association of America.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio on April 16, 1924, Mancini was introduced to music and the flute at the age of eight by his father, Quinto, an avid flutist. The family moved to Aliquippa, Pennsylvania where, at age 12, he took up piano, and within a few years became interested in arranging. After graduating from high school in 1942, Mancini enrolled in New York's Juilliard School of Music but his studies were interrupted the next year when he was drafted, leading to overseas service in the Air Force and later in the infantry.

In 1946, Mancini joined The Glenn Miller-Tex Beneke Orchestra as a pianist/arranger. It was there that he met the future Mrs. Henry Mancini, singer Ginny O'Connor, who was one of the original members of Mel Torme's Mel-Tones. Ginny and Henry were married in Hollywood the following year.

In 1952, Mancini joined the Universal-International Studios music department. During the next six years, he contributed to over 100 films, most notably The Glenn Miller Story (for which he received his first Academy Award nomination), The Benny Goodman Story and Orson Welles' Touch of Evil. Mancini left Universal-International in 1958 to work as an independent composer/arranger. Soon after he scored the television series Peter Gunn for writer/producer Blake Edwards, the genesis of a close relationship that lasted over 30 years and produced 26 films.

Mancini was an in-demand concert performer conducting over 50 engagements a year, resulting in over 600 symphony performances. Among the symphony orchestras he conducted were the London Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

He appeared in 1966, 1980 and 1984 in command performances for the Royal Family. Mancini collaborated with many noted artists such as Sir James Galway, Johnny Mathis, Luciano Pavarotti, Doc Severinsen and Andy Williams.

A leading philanthropist for the arts, Ginny Mancini, her children Christopher, Felice and Monica, have kept the legacy of Henry Mancini intact not only through his music but also by supporting arts education and outreach programs throughout the country. Composer and conductor Jack Elliott, a good friend of Mancini, founded the Henry Mancini Institute at UCLA to honor that legacy. HMI was built with the intention to promote the appreciation of music by providing intensive training and research programs to the budding talents. On April 14, 2004, the United States Post Office issued 70 million copies of a commemorative stamp that pays tribute to the prominent compositions of Mancini.

The Soraya, Film Music and Film Composers

The Soraya continues to build its strong connection to the entertainment capital with several salutes to Hollywood royalty both past and present beginning with Moon River and the Music of Henry Mancini followed by a program of the music of Harold Arlen, writer of "Over the Rainbow" hosted by his son Sam Arlen with Eden Espinosa, the Broadway star of Wicked and Joseph Leo Bwarie from Broadway's Jersey Boys (December 1).

In the spring, The Soraya presents Walt Disney's groundbreaking Silly Symphonies, a series of film shorts that married early Technicolor animation with music that led to Fantasia. Silly Symphonies will be shown with live orchestra accompaniment performed by the CSUN Symphony (March 10) and conducted by John Roscigno.

Contemporary film composer Danny Elfman brings his symphonic work Eleven Eleven to his hometown for its Los Angeles premiere (April 4), to be performed by the Royal National Scottish Orchestra.

Also on tap is the Broadway musical, Singin' in the Rain (April 12-14) based on the 1952 MGM song-and-dance classic that immortalized Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. Organist Dennis James, one of the world's proponents of preserving and performing the music of silent films, will be the soloist for The Phantom of The Opera (1925 dir. Rupert Julian) film with the New West Symphony conducted by Richard Kaufman (November 3).

About Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)

The 2018-19 Season marks the eighth year the award-winning Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts which has quickly become one of the cultural jewels of the greater Los Angeles region. Under the leadership of Executive Director Thor Steingraber, The Soraya continues to expand its programming and outstanding multidisciplinary performances. The mission of The Soraya is to present a wide variety of performances that not only includes new and original work from the Los Angeles region but also work from around the world that appeal to all of LA's rich and diverse communities.

Located on the campus of California State University, Northridge, The Soraya's season offers a vibrant performance program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family, and international events that will serve to establish The Soraya as the intellectual and cultural heart of the San Fernando Valley, and further establish itself as one of the top arts companies in Southern California. The award-winning, 1,700-seat theatre was designed by HGA Architects and Engineers and was recently cited by the Los Angeles Times as "a growing hub for live music, dance, drama and other cultural events."

Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018, at 8:00pm

Venue: Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330

Prices: Starting at $44. Prices subject to change.
By Phone: (818) 677-3000

Related Articles View More Cabaret Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You