Obituary: Oscar Winner Ennio Morricone Dies at 91

By Francisco Salazar

Italian composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91.

The composer died in Rome at the Università Campus Bio-Medico of injuries sustained during a fall.

Born in Rome in 1928, Morricone began studying music with his father Mario Morricone, who taught him how to read music and to play several instruments. He went on to enter the National Academy of St Cecilia taking Trumpet lessons with Umberto Semproni.

In 1940 he entered the conservatory and in 1941, Morricone was chosen among the students of the National Academy of St Cecilia to be a part of the Orchestra of the Opera directed by Carlo Zecchi.

Although he began composing when he was six-years-old, in 1946, he composed “Il Mattino” for voice and piano on a text by Fukuko. He would continue to write from the theater as well as classical music for voice and piano. Into the 50s he composed numerous classical compositions before gaining popularity for radio dramas and film scores.

He would go on to write music for pop stars as well as jazz artists such as a label Gianni Morandi, Alberto Lionello, Rita Pavone, and Gino Paoli, among others. He also worked with Ruggero Raimondi, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, and Sting. He also worked alongside Yo-Yo Man for a successful album entitled “Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone.”

Morricone would also gain prestige for his scores for Sergio Leone’s films. Some of his most famous creations include “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “Once Upon a Time in the West,” “Cinema Paradiso,” and “A Fistful of Dollars.” He also composed for the films of Brian de Palma,  Giuseppe Tornatore, Mike Nichols, Terrence Malick, Bernardo Bertolucci, Marco Bellocchio, Mauro Bolognini, and Dario Argento, among others

The composer went on to receive six Academy Award nominations and won in 2016 for his work in “The Hateful Eight.” He also won an honorary award in 2007. He is also a four-time Grammy Award winner, six-time BAFTA winner,  and three-time Golden Globe winner.

Morricone went on to perform at some of the most important opera houses including the Teatro la Fenice, Arena di Verona, Opera di Roma, Royal Albert Hall, and  Adelaide Festival of Arts, among other important concert halls.

Here is Olga Peretyatko performing Ennio Morricone’s music.