Friday, Mar 05, 2021

Composer Ennio "Il maestro" Morricone died in Italy at the age of 91

The famous Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who wrote world-famous film soundtracks and winner of two Oscars, died in Rome on Monday at the age of 91.
Morricone was hospitalized in a clinic in Rome after suffering a fall that fractured his femur.

"Il maestro", as he used to be called in Italy, died on July 6 comforted by faith, the lawyer and family friend Giorgio Assuma said in a statement.

He remained totally lucid and with great dignity until the last moment, the statement added.

The prolific musician composed some 500 soundtracks, including unique melodies, such as the whistle of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966) or the magnificent oboe solo from "The Mission" (1986). Morricone was the author of melodies that millions of people, moviegoers or not, know or know how to hum.

In 2016 he received his first Oscar, for the movie "The Hateful Eight", by Quentin Tarantino. In 2007, he had already deserved an honorary Oscar for his abundant and praised musical career.

Just a few days ago, Morricone was awarded, along with composer John Williams, the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts in Spain.

The death of one of the most loved composers in film history sparked numerous reactions around the world.

We will always remember and with infinite recognition of the artistic genius of the master Ennio Morricone. It made us dream, it has moved us and made us think, writing unforgettable notes that will remain forever in the history of music and cinema, the head of the Italian government, Giuseppe Conte, published on Twitter on Monday.

He was an extraordinary musician not only for the soundtrack of films but also for his classic compositions, Italian conductor Riccardo Muti said in a statement a few hours after hearing the news.

The Vatican portal recalled that in 2019 Pope Francis awarded him the Gold Medal of the Pontificate for his extraordinary artistic and religious commitment.

The death of Morricone deprives us of a distinguished and brilliant artist, said Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

His relationship with his school friend and film director Sergio Leone marked his brilliant career, which was later consecrated with directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Pedro Almodóvar and Roman Polanski, among others.

Morricone was born on December 10, 1928 in Rome and began composing at the age of six. At ten, he enrolled in a trumpet course at the prestigious Santa Cecilia National Academy in Rome.

He also studied composition, orchestra and organ. In 1961, at the age of 33, he premiered in the cinema with the music of "Misión ultrasecreta", by Luciano Salce.

But Morricone rose to fame in the 1960s for the soundtracks of hit westerns, such as "For a Fistful of Dollars" and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

His versatility allowed him to later sign the music for dozens of award-winning films, very different from each other, including "Starman" (1995) and "Novecento" (1976).

The music of 'La Misión' was born from an obligation. He had to write an oboe solo, it was developed in South America in the 16th century and he had the obligation to respect the type of music of that period. At the same time, he had to writing music that also represented the Indians of that region. All those obligations chained me (...) But they also managed to make something clear, recalled the composer, in an interview with AFP in 2017.

In addition to his two Oscars, Morricone was also awarded a Golden Globes and a Grammy, he composed operas and songs for pop artists, in a long career that he finished off with a farewell world tour in 2018.

Morricone also composed for artists such as Paul Anka, Mina, Milva, Zucchero and Andrea Bocelli.

His funeral will be held privately to respect the feeling of humility that has always inspired others, said his lawyer and friend Assuma.

The newspaper La Repubblica published the letter with which the composer says goodbye to his family and friends and which begins with "I, Ennio Morricone, have died".

A single reason leads me to say goodbye to everyone in this way and ask for a private funeral: I do not want to disturb anyone, he wrote.

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