Victor Vanacore

For more, visit

Grammy Award Winner Victor Vanacore has been at the nexus of popular music for the past 25 years.

Born into a family of six in New Haven, Connecticut, Vanacore began learning the piano at six years old. As he progressed, he began to play for others, realizing how good he felt watching his audience enjoy his performance. He wrote his first composition at age 8; it was called The Wind, and with it he began his life-long fascination with music.

High school created an environment where Vanacore learned to stretch his talents further. While mastering the saxophone and clarinet in his high school's band, he also gained some unique opportunities (after receiving permission from the state) playing the piano in nightclubs, shows, and theatres. There he received valuable experience accompanying opera singers, Broadway acts, and celebrities.

Vanacore joined the Navy after graduation from high school, and was immediately accepted into the Navy Band. While in the Navy band, he met several graduates of the Berklee College of Music, a renowned training ground for jazz musicians. Their influence led him to enroll, and receive a degree from Berklee. In 2006 Vanacore received the Alumnus Recognition Award from the Berklee College of music as “One of the top 50 Alumni“.

Vanacore has studied orchestration with Dr. Albert Harris, Sidney Fine, Earle Hagen, William Maloof and Herb Pomeroy and attended conducting master classes with Jeronimus Kacinskas, former Musical Director of the Vilnius Philharmonic in Vilnius, Lithuania.

In 1974, Vanacore moved to Los Angeles where he joined the Jackson Five as a keyboardist and musical arranger. A year later the band's conductor had an emergency; Vanacore was asked to fill in, and after his performance that night, he became the Jackson's permanent conductor and arranger.

Vanacore's star rose, and after the end of the Jackson Five tour, he signed with the Fifth Dimension, serving as conductor and arranger for two years. Johnny Mathis heard of Vanacore's talent, and hired him as the Musical Director for his world tour. This musical relationship also lasted for two years. He then joined Barry Manilow for six years in the same capacity, and received six album credits, including "If I Should Love Again," "Barry Live in Britain," "Barry," and "The Greatest Hits."

Victor Vanacore valued a close ongoing relationship with the musical icon Ray Charles, whom he met in 1990, until Charles’ passing in 2004. Vanacore served as Musical Director, Arranger, and Opening Act for Mr. Charles. Ray Charles’ only platinum CD entitled, “ Genius Loves Company” features Victor Vanacore’s 80 piece Grammy Award winning orchestral arrangements.

In addition to his musical associations with Celebrity vocalists, Vanacore enjoys a career as a Pops Conductor with symphony orchestras worldwide. His recent appearance as conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl garnered broad critical acclaim.

Recently, Victor has been working as a composer in conjunction with his brother David on the critically acclaimed hit CBS show “Survivor.” In addition he is composing music for Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" and his arrangements were also heard on the 2005 Academy Awards show assisting his good friend Bill Conti. Vanacore also arranges music for American Idol and recently celebrated his 11th year as composer in residence for the iconic Pageant of The Masters in Laguna Beach, California.

Vanacore collaborated in 2005 with Producer Phil Ramone arranging arias and special crossover material for Italian tenor Alessandro Safina and J Records for Executive Producer Clive Davis.

Most recently in 2006 Victor Vanacore composed arrangements for the new Symphony Orchestra CD of saxophonist Dave Koz. In addition he arranged new material for the recent album of soul legend Teena Marie. In 2007 at the request of Maestro Placido Domingo Vanacore composed original neoclassical music based on the texts of Pope John Paul II.

Recent symphonic commissions by Vanacore include “Detroit Soul” commissioned by the Detroit Symphony featuring Motown themes and “America Then And Now” for New Jersey Public Television Network and "Spain Meets Birdland" for the Berklee College of Music 60th anniversary.

In 2008 Victor arranged the centerpiece arrangement of How Do You Keep The Music Playing for Natalie Cole's new CD.

Victor A. Vanacore is a member of ASCAP, AFTRA, the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, The Society of Composers and Lyricists and the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers.

Vanacore lives in Granada Hills, California, and enjoys a very close relationship with his family. His hobbies include sailing, golf, scuba diving and cooking pizza in his outdoor ovens.

From Victor:

"This last year has afforded me the opportunity to finally put some arrangements together from the standards we all love, and record them with my son Victor and good friend Thom Rotella. Please enjoy!

The album is called American Standard Time. I hope you enjoy this album as much as I enjoyed recording it. It's available from CD baby - ."