April 15, 2015 — Coral Gables, Fla. — James Newton Howard, one of the most versatile and respected composers currently working in film, was named the new artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute (HMI) at the prestigious Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
James Newton Howard succeeds film composer, arranger and multi-Grammy Award winning trumpeter and bandleader Terence Blanchard, who served with distinction as artistic director for seven years, since 2008. Howard’s term will begin in January 2016, announced Shelton G. Berg, dean of the Frost School of Music. An inaugural large-scale concert featuring Howard’s original film music is planned for Spring 2016 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.
Dean Berg said, “The Frost School is very fortunate to welcome James Newton Howard, one of the greatest and most significant film composers over the last 30 years, to oversee the artistic direction of the Henry Mancini Institute. James’ experience at the highest level of music making will be invaluable to an educational institution that places real-world excellence at the heart of its activities.”
To date, James Newton Howard has received eight Oscar® nominations, including six for Best Original Score for his work on Defiance, Michael Clayton, The Village, The Fugitive, The Prince of Tides, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. He was also nominated for Best Original Song for the films Junior and One Fine Day.
Howard, along with Hans Zimmer, won the 2009 Grammy Award for the score for The Dark Knight. He has also received Grammy Award nominations for music from Blood Diamond, Dinosaur, Signs and the song from One Fine Day. In addition, he won an Emmy Award for the theme to the Andre Braugher series Gideon’s Crossing, and received two additional Emmy nominations for the themes to the long-running Warner Bros. series ER and the Ving Rhames series Men. Howard has also been nominated four times for Golden Globe Awards for his massive orchestral score for Peter Jackson’s blockbuster remake of King Kong; for the songs from Junior and One Fine Day; and for his provocative symphonic score for Defiance.
James Newton Howard said, “Henry Mancini was one of my great musical heroes, and I am delighted and honored to serve as artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute. I’m eager to begin working with the talented students at Frost School of Music and engage them in an ever-evolving musical world.”
During Terence Blanchard’s term as artistic director, the Frost School’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra was named resident orchestra of the popular Jazz Roots series produced by Larry Rosen and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. The HMI Orchestra also performed in three PBS television specials, one HBO special, and recorded multiple CD/DVD projects with international superstars such as George Benson, Gloria Estefan, Chick Corea, and Bobby McFerrin. In 2009, the Henry Mancini Institute received a $500,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to expand the Frost School’s community engagement throughout the South Florida region, and received matching grants from performing arts philanthropists Ginny Mancini and Adrienne Arsht.
James Newton Howard will continue the Henry Mancini Institute’s mission to bring genre blending recording and performance opportunities to over 65 auditioned Mancini Fellows plus interactive experiences to all 700 students enrolled at the Frost School of Music. He will also elevate the Mancini Institute’s worldwide reputation through new multimedia and collaborative opportunities.
In addition to his eight Oscar nominations and Grammy Award and nominations, Howard received the 2008 World Soundtrack Award for Film Composer of the Year for his work on the films Charlie Wilson’s War, Michael Clayton and I Am Legend. He has received the Soundtrack of the Year Award from the Classical BRIT Awards for The Dark Knight (2009) and Blood Diamond (2008). In 2009 he received the Special 5th Anniversary GoldSpirit Award for Best Composer of the Last 5 years (2004-2008) from the Úbeda Film Music Conference in Spain. He has had two concert pieces premiered with the Pacific Symphony—I Would Plant a Tree performed in February 2009, and most recently his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra performed in March 2015, featuring renowned violinist James Ehnes.
Howard, who has been honored with ASCAP’s prestigious Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime Achievement, now has more than 120 films to his credit. Among them are all of M. Night Shyamalan’s films including The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water and The Last Airbender. His other wide-ranging credits include all three installments of The Hunger Games, Maleficent, Nightcrawler, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Bourne Legacy, Salt, Water For Elephants, Gnomeo & Juliet, Batman Begins, Collateral, Snow Falling on Cedars, Outbreak, Hidalgo, Peter Pan, Wyatt Earp, Freedomland, Treasure Planet, Falling Down, Primal Fear, Glengarry Glen Ross, Waterworld, The Devil’s Advocate, Dave, and Pretty Woman among many others.
Howard’s success reflects the experiences of a rich musical past. Inspired by his grandmother, a classical violinist who played in the Pittsburgh Symphony in the ’30s and ’40s, he began his studies on the piano at age four. After studying at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and at the USC Thornton School of Music as a piano major, he completed his formal education with orchestration study under legendary arranger Marty Paich.
Though his training was classical, he maintained an interest in rock and pop music, and it was his early work in the pop arena that allowed him to hone his talents as a musician, arranger, songwriter and producer. He racked up a string of collaborations in the studio and on the road with some of pop’s biggest names, including Elton John; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Barbra Streisand; Earth, Wind and Fire; Bob Seger; Rod Stewart; Toto; Glenn Frey; Diana Ross; Carly Simon; Olivia Newton-John; Randy Newman; Rickie Lee Jones; Cher; and Chaka Khan.
When he was offered his first film, Head Office, in 1985, he knew he had found his calling. His upcoming projects include Francis Lawrence’s final installment of The Hunger Games – Mockingjay, Part 2 and Peter Landesman’s Concussion.
About Henry Mancini Institute at the Frost School of Music
The Henry Mancini Institute at the Frost School of Music is inspiring a whole new spectrum of artistic creation and professional training for orchestra musicians of the future. Originally founded as a summer institute in Los Angeles and relocated to Miami in 2007, the Henry Mancini Institute at the Frost School of Music (HMI) has evolved into a comprehensive graduate training institute for aspiring professional musicians. At the core of the Henry Mancini Institute is a multi-genre ‘cross-over’ orchestra featuring outstanding student musicians who recognize the professional world they will enter after graduation is vastly different than the traditional music world of the past. The HMI Orchestra plays a full range of musical genres– from traditional and contemporary classical styles, to film, pop, jazz, rock, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban, Latin, Asian, and other world music. By doing so, they are introducing—and creating—new musical works that are attracting younger, larger and more diverse audiences to the performing arts scene.
About Frost School of Music
The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is one of the largest and best music schools located in a private university in the U.S., and one of the most comprehensive and relevant in all of higher education. With over 700 students and 100 faculty members it a top choice for instrumental, keyboard and vocal performance as well as composition, music business, music education, music engineering technology, music therapy, songwriting, jazz, studio music, and more. It is one of two schools created in 1926 when the University of Miami was founded. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost in 2003 was a historic occasion. The mission of the Frost School of Music is to foster musical leadership by providing an innovative, relevant, and inspiring education; advance performance, creativity and scholarship; and enrich the world community with meaningful outreach and brilliant cultural offerings. For more information visit www.music.miami.edu.
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