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Provider: Arab News

Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone dead at 91

Author: AFPID: 1594038418288843400Mon, 2020-07-06
11:35 ROME: Ennio Morricone, one of
the world’s best-known and most prolific film composers, died in
Rome on Monday at the age of 91. Tributes poured in for
the man who composed the music for about 500 films, including his
old childhood friend Sergio Leone’s 1966 spaghetti western “The
Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful
Eight” for which he finally won an Oscar in 2016.
Morricone died in hospital where he was being treated for a
fractured femur following a fall, according to a statement from
lawyer and family friend Giorgio Assuma. Morricone
“passed away in the early hours of July 6 with the comfort of his
faith,” the statement said. He remained “fully lucid
and with great dignity right until the end,” it added.
Tributes began pouring in for the maestro soon after his death was
announced. “We will remember forever and with infinite
gratitude the artistic genius of maestro Ennio Morricone,” Italian
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said. “He made us dream,
he moved us and made us think, writing unforgettable notes that
will remain forever in the history of music and cinema,” he said on
Twitter. Italian film actress Monica Bellucci said of
Morricone that “there are people who have the ability to make the
world better because they know how to create beauty,” while Gilles
Jacob, the former head of the Cannes film festival, described him
as the “emperor” of film music. Famed Italian conductor
Riccardo Muti called Morricone “a master for whom I nurtured
friendship and admiration,” describing him as an “extraordinary
musician” who could jump with ease from film scores to classical
music. Born on November 10, 1928, Morricone began
composing at the tender age of six, and at just 10 he enrolled in
trumpet school at the prestigious Saint-Cecilia conservatory in
Rome. He played in jazz bands throughout the 1940s
before beginning to ghost write for film and theater.
In 1961, at the age of 33, he collaborated with director Luciano
Salce in “Mission Ultra-secrete” before going on to gain fame with
the score for “A Fistful of Dollars” starring Clint Eastwood in
1964. Before winning the elusive Oscar for best film
score at age 87 in 2016, the Rome-born son of a trumpeter had been
nominated no fewer than five times. The Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences — embarrassed that such a talent had not been
recognized sooner — presented him with a lifetime achievement award
in 2007. Morricone’s previous nominations were for
“Days of Heaven” (1978), “The Mission” (1986), “The Untouchables”
(1987), “Bugsy” (1991) and “Malena” (2000). Although he
is most closely associated in the public mind with Leone’s westerns
starring Eastwood, Morricone’s composition for Roland Joffe’s
Jesuit drama “The Mission” is considered by many critics to be his
cinematic masterpiece, an epic and eclectic reflection of South
America’s musical melting pot. Throughout his career,
Morricone worked with some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed filmmakers
as well as arthouse directors. After his collaboration with Leone,
he worked with Italian screen legends Federico Fellini and Pier
Paolo Pasolini and later with the likes of Pedro Almodovar,
Bernardo Bertolucci, Brian De Palma and Oliver Stone.
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