According to Italian news agency Ansa, Ennio Morricone died in hospital having fractured his femur in a fall some days ago.
Renowned for scoring Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns, the Oscar winner also produced the sounds and music for ‘Days of Heaven,’ ‘The Mission,’ ‘Cinema Paradiso’ and ‘The Hateful Eight.’
The Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who scored more than 500 films — seven for his countryman Leone after they had met as kids in elementary school — died in Rome following complications from a fall last week in which he broke his femur.
A native and lifelong resident of Rome whose first instrument was the trumpet, Morricone won his Oscar for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (2015) and also was nominated for his original scores for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978), Roland Joffe’s The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables (1987), Barry Levinson’s Bugsy (1991) and Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malena (2000).
Known as “The Maestro,” he also received an honorary Oscar in 2007 (presented by Clint Eastwood) for his “magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music,” and he collected 11 David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s highest film honors.
Morricone’s ripe, pulsating sounds enriched Leone’s low-budget shoot-’em-ups A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) — those three starred Eastwood — Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Duck, You Sucker (1971).
Ennio Morricone was born on November 10, 1928 in Rome.
His first teacher was his father Mario Morricone, who taught him how to read music and also to play several instruments. Compelled to take up the trumpet, he entered the National Academy of St Cecilia, to take trumpet lessons under the guidance of Umberto Semproni.
Goffredo Petrassi, Morricone’s teacher Morricone formally entered the conservatory in 1940 at age 12, enrolling in a four-year harmony program. He completed it within six months. He studied the trumpet, composition, and choral music, under the direction of Goffredo Petrassi, who influenced him; Morricone has since dedicated his concert pieces to Petrassi. 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 on the occasion of a tour of the Veneto region. In 1946, he received his diploma in trumpet. After he graduated, he continued to work in classical composition and arrangement.
NMR (photo: press Ennio Morricone)