R.I.P. Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone in 2012
Ennio Morricone in 2012

The news arrived of the death of the composer Ennio Morricone (photo ©Georges Biard). He was hospitalized in a clinic in Rome following a fall that caused his femur’s fracture.

Ennio Morricone was born on November 10, 1928, in Rome, Italy,. When he was a boy he showed a talent for football, but ended up devoting himself to music by studying at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia, in Rome, and graduating in trumpet, composition, instrumentation, band direction, and choral music.

Ennio Morricone’s career began as a musician, playing the trumpet in various Roman orchestras. He started composing music for cinema in 1955 and in the early years, he also collaborated with various Italian singers composing and arranging music for various songs.

In 1956 Ennio Morricone married Maria, with whom he had four children. His family remained close to him in his last hours of life.

In 1964 Ennio Morricone began his collaboration with the director Sergio Leone, who had been his classmate in elementary school. He won the first Silver Ribbon for the soundtrack of “For a fistful of dollars”. In the course of his career, he won that award 11 times. The soundtracks of the “spaghetti westerns” that make up most of Leone’s filmography are well known, even by people who are not interested in that genre.

In the 1960s, Ennio Morricone also worked with other great Italian directors such as Marco Bellocchio (“Fists in the Pocket”, “I pugni in tasca”, 1965), Gillo Pontecorvo (“The Battle of Algiers”, 1966) and Pier Paolo Pasolini (“The Hawks and the Sparrows”, “Uccellacci e Uccellini”, 1966).

Over the years, Ennio Morricone worked with various great international directors, also obtaining Oscar nominations with the soundtracks of “The Mission” (1986) and “The Untouchables” (1989). In several occasions, he worked on television productions as well, but the soundtracks for movies of all genres are the ones for which he’s best remembered.

Ennio Morricone received an Academy Honorary Award in 2007, after five Oscar nominations for as many movies. In the end, he also won an Oscar for a soundtrack in 2016 for Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”. The great composer received many awards and honors for his work, the last one only a few weeks ago, the Princess of Asturias Award for arts.

An encyclopedia could be written to analyze the hundreds of music pieces written by Ennio Morricone. His soundtracks, which include a wide range of styles, made the history of cinema contributing to the success of many movies of all genres. He will be remembered as one of the greatest composers in the history of cinema.

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