Ennio Morricone, born in Rome in 1928, is a composer, conductor and orchestrator who has written music for more than 500 motion pictures and television series.
He began studying music at Rome’s Conservatory of Santa Cecilia at the age of 12. Urged to concentrate on composition by his instructors, he supported himself by playing trumpet in jazz bands, and then worked for Italy’s national radio network after graduating from the Conservatory.
Morricone did not begin scoring films until the early 1960s, and started to attract international attention when he collaborated with Italian film director, producer and screenwriter Sergio Leone, credited as the inventor of the Spaghetti Western genre and widely regarded as one of the most influential directors in the history of cinema.
The Spaghetti Westerns only comprised a phase of Morricone’s career, but for many his work in this field remains his best and most innovative. He amplified the film’s plots and drama through ingenious use of diverse arrangements and instrumentation. Dissonant harmonicas, dancing piccolos, bombastic church organs, eerie whistling, thundering trumpets, oddly sung gunfighter ballads, and ghostly vocal choruses all became trademarks of the Morricone-Leone productions, then of the spaghetti Western genre as a whole.
He has also contributed to a huge range of other film genres like comedies, dramas, thrillers, horror films, romances, art movies, making him one of the film world’s most versatile artists.
Age has not slowed Morricone in the least. In fact, the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s saw his commercial success and widespread recognition at an all-time peak. He garnered Academy Award nominations for The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy, and Malèna, and worked for such top directors as Pedro Almodovar, Brian DePalma, Roman Polanski, Mike Nichols, Oliver Stone, and Barry Levinson. In his late eighties, he made waves with his work on the 2015 Quentin Tarantino western The Hateful Eight, which won him a Golden Globe and his first Academy Award for Best Original Score.
Grabiel’s Oboe (From the motion picture ‘The Mission’)
Orchestrated by Ennio Morricone