And the Winner is: Ennio Morricone

The composer of contemporary cinema

Morricone, an institution of Italian and International film tracks, has finally been awarded an Oscar after 7 decades in the business.

Ennio Morricone, at the grand age of 87 received a standing ovation on Sunday 28th February 2016 when the Academy finally awarded him the elusive golden statue for his soundtrack to Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight contemporary western.

Born on the 10th November 1928, Ennio Morricone composed his first score at the age of 6, when he was then encouraged by his father (also a musician) to develop his talents. After a near perfect score when he graduated from the Conservatory, Morricone started composing jingles for the radio as well as playing the trumpet in Jazz bands through to the 1950s., until he began composing for film. Morricone has to his name over 500 scores for film and television, as well as over 100 classical works and even lending his talents to pop artists like Paul Anka, Mina and Zucchero.

His true calling however was film scores, with his including over 70 award-winning films; all Sergio Leone films since the Dollars Trilogy (such as Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America), all Giuseppe Tornatore films (since Cinema Paradiso), The Battle of Algiers, 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, The Thing, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy, In the Line of Fire, Disclosure, Mission to Mars, Ripley’s Game, The Best Offer, and most recently The Hateful Eight for which he won the Oscar for Best Original Score.

Morricone’s musical achievements within the music industry are also a force to be reckoned with: his score to 1966’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (considered as one of the most influential soundtracks in history) was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame, and the album reached No. 4 on the Billboard chart, with its estimated 10 million copies sold, “Once Upon a Time in the West” is one of the best-selling instrumental scores worldwide. The highly acclaimed soundtrack for “The Mission” (1986) was certified gold by RIAA., while his album Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone stayed 105 weeks on the Billboard Top Classical Albums and peaked in 2004 at No.3. Morricone has also won three Grammys and the Polar Music Prize in 2010.

ABOVE: Ennio Morricone with his wife Maria, to whom he dedicated the Oscar, on the red carpet in Los Angeles 28th February 2016 both wearing Dolce&Gabbana

The maestro, never shy of his talents dabbled in many genres of music for many different audiences, and as well as the film scores and pop artists mentioned above, Morricone also composed the theme for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. His music is so influential and internationally recognizable that it has been reused by many, from Tarantino in his most recent forays into the Western Genre like Django Unchained to The Sopranos and The Simpsons.

The work of the maestro has not only been acclaimed by the public with monstrous sales of his albums, and by other artists borrowing his tracks, but by his peers and the film industry in general as he can count to his name three

Golden Globes, six BAFTAs, ten David di Donatello, eleven Nastro d’Argento, two European Film Awards, the Golden Lion Honorary Award and in 2007, Morricone received the Academy Honorary Award “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.” He has been nominated for a further six Oscars, and on Sunday the 28th February 2006 he finally won the ultimate accolade.

In 2016 as well as penning the Oscar Winning soundtrack for Tarantino’s film, Ennio Morricone also collaborated with his long term cinematographic partner Giuseppe Tornatore and the stunning Sophia Loren on the Dolce Rosa Excelsa film which presents the new Dolce&Gabbana Fragrance for women.

Image credits: Getty



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