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Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone

After making a name for himself scoring spaghetti westerns, Ennio Morricone went on to work with some of the most renowned European and Hollywood moviemakers of all time in a career that has spanned five decades. The maestro was born in Rome and educated in trumpet and choral music at Italy’s National Academy of Santa Cecilia, one of the oldest musical institutions in the world, during World War II. Early in his career, he wrote background music for radio dramas, composed classical pieces, and performed in jazz bands, but it was his sixties movie scores for Sergio Leone—specifically his now ubiquitous woodwindy wah-wah for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly—that put him on the international map. Thanks to the iconic themes from these films, Morricone would be commissioned to write music for more than forty other westerns, but he would also work with such filmmakers as Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket), Gillo Pontecorvo (The Battle of Algiers), Pier Paolo Pasolini (Salò), and, when he began scoring American films, Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven), Samuel Fuller (White Dog), Brian De Palma (The Untouchables), and John Carpenter (The Thing). Moving easily between B movies and prestige films, adventure and romance, Morricone has remained one of cinema’s most adventurous, active, and versatile composers.