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Ennio Morricone died at 92 in Rome. Winner of 2 Oscars, thanks to his soundtracks he also won 3 Grammy Awards, 4 Golden Globes, 6 Baftas, 10 David di Donatello, 11 Silver Ribbons, 2 European Film Awards, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement and the Polar Music Prize. A master revered in the film world, Ennio Morricone enriched hundreds of films with his musical talent, building his reputation by composing the scores of many western films. Throughout his career, he collaborated with the likes of Sergio Leone, Duccio Tessari, and Sergio Corbucci for Italian-style westerns such as the Dollars Trilogy, A Pistol for Gringo, The Big Gundown, The Great Silence, The Mercenary, My Name is Nobody and the Time Trilogy. Further collaborations include Giuseppe Tornatore’s Nuovo cinema paradiso and Bernardo Bertolucci’s Novecento. In 2007 Morricone won an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement after 5 nominations. In 2016 he won his second Oscars for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, for which he won the Golden Globe, too.

Born in Rome in 1925, Morricone wrote over 500 scores for cinema and television. His unique touch characterized Italian pop music in the 1960s, but his real passion was for symphonic music, music experimentation and innovation. 70 million of records sold, U2 guitarist The Edge has always defined him his musician of reference, and bands like Metallica and Ramones open their concerts paying tribute to him. Quentin Tarantino robbed his melodies twice (Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds) until he managed to convince him to compose the original score for The Hateful Eight.

His collaboration with Sergio Leone is the one that most definitely marked his career. They first met at primary school, and their friendship will go hand in hand with their successful careers, until Leone’s last film Once Upon a Time in America, which also represents one of Morricone’s most complex and important composing challenges. Morricone will further make his name in Hollywood by working with John Carpenter, Brian De Palma, Roland Joffé and Oliver Stone for films like The Untouchables and Mission. In Italy, several filmmakers had an almost symbiotic relationship with him. It’s the case of Elio Petri for whom Morricone invents the sounds of Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, and Gillo Pontecorvo who write the score of The Battle of Algiers with him.

Morricone said: “Every time I try to compose a soundtrack that can please both the director and the audience, but above all I should be the one who loves it first, otherwise I’m not happy. I must be happy before the director. I can’t betray my music.” In his latest years he started to play as a orchestra director, revealing all his chameleon-like ductility: a contemporary composer, an epic composer for broader audiences, a nostalgic musician of secret emotions. It’s not by chance that, in 2007, on the Oscar stage, Clint Eastwood was the one to present him with the award: Eastwood wouldn’t be Eastwood without Leone and Morricone.  The funeral will take place privately “in respect of the sentiment of humbleness that has always inspired his life.”

Dario Franceschini, Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism states: “It’s a sad day for culture, Ennio Morricone was one of the great Italian masters, a refined musician who managed to touch and make us all dream. The entire world celebrated him with the highest awards and recognitions, including the Oscars for his legendary soundtracks. I was lucky enough to have known him, and I will never forget that energy and strength that he was able to convey only with his eyes.”

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