by Kevin Earl Rebato

The shocking news came out on July 6, 2020, as the Italian  Oscar-winner and hailed  “greatest ever” film composer, Ennio Morricone passed away at the age of 91. He died in a Roman hospital due to complications following a fall and fractured femur.  According to his longtime lawyer, Giorgio Assuma, he wanted a private funeral. He also distributed a statement that Mr. Morriconne had written himself, titled, “I, Ennio Morricone, am dead”.

Born in Rome, Ennio Morricone was the son of Libera Ridolfi and Mario Morricone, a musician. His first teacher was his father, who taught him how to read music, play several musical instruments, and encouraged him to develop his natural talents.  He wrote his first composition when he was six years old, and formally entered the conservatory at age 12.

Morricone was a famous conductor, trumpet player, orchestrator and composer who wrote in many music styles with his partner Sergio Leone, an Italian film director who died April 30, 1989.  His music score “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” in 1966 was one of the best musical soundtracks ever written by Morricone.  He was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame last 2009.  He also wrote soundtracks and music scores for films such as “ Once Upon a Time in America”, in 1984,The Mission” in 1986, and Cinema Paradiso in 1988. He also won an Oscar in 2016, which he composed for Quentin Tarantino’s film, “The Hateful Eight” in 2015.

Though Morricone wrote extensively for Hollywood, he never learned to speak English. In 2007, he visited the United States when he had a monthlong tour, highlighted by festivals of his films. He refused for years to fly anywhere and never left Rome to compose but eventually flew all over the world to conduct orchestras, and at times performing his own compositions.

The extensive achievements of the well-known Maestro of Spaghetti Westerners included scores for some 500 movies by a Who’s Who of directors and evoke atmospheric music in his native Italy, making him one of the world’s most influential and versatile creators of music for modern cinema.  His blend of music and sound effects for Sergio Leone’s so-called spaghetti westerns of the 1960s was the work that made him world-famous and best known to moviegoers.

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