Ennio Morricone is an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and former trumpet player.
Morricone composes in a wide range of styles and is one of the most versatile, experimental and influential composers of all time. He has composed over 500 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works.
His filmography includes over 70 award-winning films, including all Sergio Leone films since A Fistful of Dollars (including The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West), The Battle of Algiers, Dario Argento’s Animal Trilogy, Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900, Exorcist II, Days of Heaven, several major films in French cinema, in particular the comedy trilogy La Cage aux Folles I, II, III and Le Professionnel, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy, In the Line of Fire, Disclosure, Bulworth, Mission to Mars, Ripley’s Game and The Hateful Eight.
His first teacher was his father Mario Morricone, who taught him how to read music and to play several instruments. He entered the National Academy of St Cecilia, to take trumpet lessons under the guidance of Umberto Semproni and played the trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s. He went on to become a studio arranger for RCA Victor and, in 1955, a ghost writer for film and theatre.
In 2016, Morricone received his first Academy Award for his score to Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight (2015) and over the course of his illustrious career has received any other prestigious awards.
Throughout his career, he has composed music for celebrated artists such as Paul Anka, Mina, Milva, Zucchero and Andrea Bocelli. However he is best known for composing music for westerns. His score to 1966’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Between 1966 and 1980 he was a member of Il Gruppo, one of the first experimental composer collectives who performed and recorded avant garde free improvisations. Dedicated to the development of improvisation and new music methods the ensemble functioned as a laboratory of sorts, working with anti-musical systems and noise techniques.
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