Mantovani: The King of Strings

Mantovani: The King of Strings

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Experience the magic of a music legend!

While he may no longer be the household name he was during his lifetime, Annunzio Paolo Mantovani, known professionally as Mantovani, left an undeniable mark on the music industry. An innovative conductor, he was the first recording artist to sell more than a million stereo albums and performed sold-out concerts to audiences across America and England for decades. Many of his records went on to be chart-topping hits and he often collaborated with some of the most popular vocalists of his time. Now, nearly 40 years after his death, rediscover music history in Mantovani: The King of Strings, airing Saturday, September 19 at 5 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

Known for his gorgeous, lush string arrangements, Mantovani began his career as a professional violinist at the age of 16, but would eventually give up performing in favor of composing and conducting. His music spanned a variety of genres, ranging from traditional, classical pieces to film themes to covers of The Beatles’ most popular hits. Mantovani was a verifiable hit machine himself, and between 1955 and 1972 more than  40 of his albums ranked on the U.S. pop charts.

The “cascading strings” effect he developed for his hit “Charmaine,” intended to mimic the echo of cathedrals, became his hallmark, imitated by scores of composers after him and often referred to as the “Mantovani sound.”  His impact isn’t limited to just the orchestra world – musicians as famous as Queen’s guitarist Brian May have claimed the conductor as an influence as well.