Award winning film composer Ennio Morricone died July 6, 2020 in a Rome hospital after a fall at the age of 91.
A very prolific composer, he has scored over 500 soundtracks for films and television from westerns to out of this world compositions.
Stepping beyond his classical training, Morricone wrote music for Joan Baez, k.d. lang, the Pet Shop Boys, Sting, and Andrea Bocelli. He also has written a number of Italian pop songs.
Not only did Morricone inspire millions to purchase soundtracks containing his music – over 70 million copies; he also inspired his fellow musicians in their own compositions including Jay-Z, Metallica, Radiohead, the Ramones, Muse, and Gnarls Barkley.
He has won Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards for his compositions including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Film Academy.
Morricone was born in Rome, Italy on November 10, 1928, the son of a trumpet player. He began his musical journey by following in his father’s footsteps and studied the trumpet at the Conservatory of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
He began his career by arranging music for radio and then moving on to television and the theatre before turning to composing with his first composition in 1961 – “Il Federale”.
He lived his entire life in his native city and never learned to speak English. He made his first trip to America and Hollywood when he was 78 years old.
Over the course of his career, Morricone has worked with some of the top Hollywood directors including Brian de Palma, Quentin Tarantino, Sergio Leone, and Gillo Pontecorvo.
Morricone’s list of hundreds of compositions include “A Fistful of Dollars”, “The Battle of Algiers”, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, “Once Upon a Time in the West”, “Two Mules for Sister Sara”, “The Canterbury Tales”, “Arabian Nights”, “Footloose”, “La Cage aux Folles II”, “The Thing”, the mini series “Marco Polo”, “Once Upon a Time in America”, “The Untouchables”, the “Octopus” series, “Bugsy”, the mini series “Samson and Delilah”, the 1998 version of “The Phantom of the Opera”, “mission to Mars”, and “The Hateful Eight”.
Known as the “Maestro”, Morricone requested a private funeral, saying, “I don’t want to bother anyone.”
Morricone is survived by his wife of over 60 years Maria and children Marco, Alessandra, Andrea and Giovanni.
feature photo credit: By Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21288724