Composer Ennio Morricone 1928 – 2020

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Legendary film composer Ennio Morricone died at age 91 at a hospital in Rome on Monday, where he was being treated for a broken leg suffered in a fall 10 days ago. Morricone’s lawyer, Giorgio Assumma, confirmed the news of Ennio’s death to CNN.

Morricone was born in Rome on November 10, 1928. His first foray into music came a child, when he learned how to play trumpet. At age 12, he entered the prestigious National Academy Of St Cecilia and completed a four-year program in just six months. Ennio went on to focus on composing and wrote scores for radio shows, television programs and eventually moved on into work on music for films.

Ennio Morricone wrote scores for hundreds of films dating back to the 1960s in a variety of genres. Morricone’s music is synonymous with the “Spaghetti Western,” a subgenre of movies produced and directed by Italians. The composer was a schoolmate of director Sergio Leone and the pair formed a working relationship decades later in the 1960s. Morricone provided soundtracks for many of Leone’s films including the famed Dollars Trilogy of westerns: 1964’s A Fistful Of Dollars, 1965’s For A Few Dollars More and 1966’s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

Morricone was an innovative composer who didn’t let limited budgets stop him from providing just the right sounds for the movies he scored in his early days. For instance, Ennio was one of the first film composers to incorporate recordings of electric guitar into his work.

Sergio Leone was just one of the directors with whom Ennio had a long and fruitful working relationship. Morricone wrote over 15 scores for the films of director Mauro Bolognini and provided soundtracks for a number of horror films/thrillers directed by Dario Argento. He also worked with director Giuseppe Tornatore a number of times, including on 1989’s Cinema Paradiso, which scored the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1989. Berry Levinson, Bernardo Bertolucci, John Huston, Warren Beatty and Luciano Salce were also among the directors who called upon Morricone to compose scores for their films.

One of Ennio Morricone’s last and most successful endeavors was with Quentin Tarantino, a filmmaker who idolized his work. Morricone scored Tarantino’s 2015 film The Hateful Eight and won the Oscar for Best Original Score. Ennio’s win was his first after five prior nominations. The composer did receive an honorary award in 2007 and took home multiple BAFTAs, a pair of Golden Globes, four Grammys and numerous other awards and honors over the course of his illustrious career.

The Best Of Ennio Morricone