Ennio Morricone passed away. He created music for “Mission” and “Once upon a time in the Wild West”

At age 91 in Rome, Ennio Morricone, an Italian composer and conductor, died on Monday.

His family informed about the death. The artist was known primarily as a creator of film music, including the films “Mission”, “Untouchables” and “Once Upon a Time in America”.

He received two Oscar statuettes for his work. His achievements include over 500 soundtracks and about 100 symphonic songs, 70 million albums sold and dozens of awards received worldwide for compositions representing various genres. Many important awards in the world received 60 films for which he wrote music.

Morricone was born in Rome on November 10, 1928. His father was a musician, he played as a trumpeter in various orchestras.

Young Ennio combined musical and sports talent. He played football and was nicknamed “Il Pistolero”. He graduated from the Capital Conservatory of Saint Sicily. He chose the same instrument as his father.

He wrote film music from 1955, and three years later he was accepted to work on RAI radio and television as a musical assistant. He quit his job on the first day of work when he learned that, by decision of the public broadcaster’s management, the music he composed would not be broadcast in RAI when he was employed there.

Ennio Morricone, Colosseum
Ennio Morricone was known primarily as a creator of film music, including the films “Mission”, “Untouchables” and “Once Upon a Time in America”. Photo: PAP / EPA / CLAUDIO PERI

He became famous all over the world for his collaboration with film director Sergio Leone, his classmate from elementary school in the Eternal City, started in 1964. He composed the first song for his film “Za garść dollars”. In the following years, the director and music duo achieved further successes in the genre of western spaghetti. Morricone composed the soundtrack to such films of Leone as “Good, Bad and Ugly” or “Once upon a time in the Wild West”. This collaboration lasted until his last film “A long time ago in America.”

The composer also collaborated with the Italian cinema giant Bernardo Bertolucci, writing music for his famous “20th Century”, as well as with Giuseppe Tornatore, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Brian De Palma or Franco Zeffirelli.

However, Morricone also collaborated with the British pop band Pet Shop Boys, with whom he composed the song “It Couldn’t Happen Here” in 1987.

He is the author of music for two television films about John Paul II directed by Giacomo Battiato with Piotr Adamczyk in the lead role.

In 2007, he was awarded an Oscar for lifetime achievement. He was handed to him by Clint Eastwood. In 2016, the American Film Academy statuette was awarded to his soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”.

In one of his interviews in connection with his 90th birthday, Ennio Morricone admitted that he was counting on an Oscar statuette in 1987 for the film “Mission” by Rolland Joffe and very much regrets not getting it then. Herbie Hancock was then awarded for the music for “Around Midnight”.

“I remember protests during the Oscars,” the Italian composer emphasized.

In April this year, during the national quarantine in Italy, he said that after a pandemic he intends to return to concerts.

At the news of the artist’s death, Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini declared that it was “a sad day for culture”.

“One of the great Italian artists with a sophisticated talent who could move the world with his melodies left,” stressed the minister.