Ennio Morricone, Oscar-winning legendary music composer, dies at 91
"The Maestro" is often regarded as the creator of the sound of the Westerns. The two-time Academy Award winner, won his first, an honorary Oscar in 2007, becoming the second composer in Oscar history to receive an honorary award for his body of work. And went on to win his first competitive one in 2016 for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, becoming the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar.
Oscar winner and the man behind many legendary film soundtracks like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “The Mission”, Ennio Morricone passed away early morning on Monday.
The music legend died in a Rome clinic, where he was taken shortly after suffering a fall that caused a hip fracture, his close aide told Italian news agency ANSA.
Among other feats, Morricone is credited for creating the defining sound of "spaghetti" Westerns which ruled Hollywood at one point. The prolific composer also wrote music for Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables and Cinema Paradiso.
The two-time Academy Award winner, won his first, an honorary Oscar in 2007, becoming only the second composer in Oscar history to receive an honorary award for his body of work. And went on to win his first competitive one in 2016 for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, becoming the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar.
He was also nominated six times for Oscars — for “Days of Heaven,” “The Mission,” “The Untouchables,” “Bugsy,” “Malena” and “The Hateful Eight.”
The Italian maestro’s estimated 500 scores for films and television, composed over more than 50 years, are believed to constitute a record in Western cinema for sheer quantity of music, Variety said.
Despite being one the most influencial composer of the modern world, the Maestro is best known to the world for the iconic melodies he wrote for the trilogy of 1960s westerns Sergio Leone made with the then little-known Eastwood.
A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly centred around Eastwood's reticent gunslinger, known as "The Man With No Name".
The composer, famous for not wanting to speak anything but Italian, worked with a wide range of auterus, including Sergio Leone (“Once Upon a Time in America”), Gillo Pontecorvo (“The Battle of Algiers”), Bernardo Bertolucci (“1900”), Terence Malick (“Days of Heaven”), William Friedkin (“Rampage”), Roman Polanski (“Frantic”), Brian De Palma (“The Untouchables”), Barry Levinson (“Disclosure”), Mike Nichols (“Wolf”) and Giuseppe Tornatore (“Cinema Paradiso”).
Hans Zimmer, a modern legend himself, said that he's devastated by the news and said we should look beyond his contribution to Westerns and focus on the haunting melodies he wrote for "The Mission" or "Once Upon A Time In America". Something the Maestro would regularly remind interviewers saying that he had worked in every genre, not just Westerns.
Being the Hollywood legend that he was, Morricone, in his later years, focused more on classical composition, writing more than 50 works for chamber groups, symphony orchestra, solo voice and choral ensembles. Appearing in concert at the United Nations in early 2007, he conducted his “Voci Dal Silencio,” a cantata in memory of those killed in 9/11 and other terrorist attacks.
Before we worked on Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight", the composer was reportedly annoyed with the director using his tracks in many of his films. Quentin Tarantino used obscure Morricone tracks in several of his films, including “Kill Bill,” “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained,” and Morricone composed an original song for “Django Unchained,” “Ancora Qui.”
In addition to his Oscars, he received ten of Italy’s David di Donatello awards, three Golden Globes, three Grammies, six BAFTAs including one for “The Untouchables,” eleven Nastro d'Argentos, ASCAP’s Golden Soundtrack Award and the career achievement award of the Film Music Society, among others.