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."
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.