Ennio Morricone, Oscar-winning Italian film composer, dies aged 91

Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who created the coyote-howl theme for the iconic Spaghetti Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and the soundtracks for Hollywood movies such as “The Untouchables,” has died. He was 91.

Morricone had broken his femur days ago and died during the night in a clinic in Rome. His death was confirmed by his lawyer, Giorgio Assumma. In a statement, Assumma said that the composer “died at dawn on 6 July in Rome with the comfort of faith. He preserved until the final moment full lucidity and great dignity.

Born in 1928, Morricone began his career as a trumpet player before turning to film composition in 1961, going on to create music for more than 70 award-winning movies.

Other films he scored include The Thing (directed by John Carpenter), Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore), The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo), Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick), The Untouchables (Brian de Palma) and the La Cage aux Folles trilogy (Édouard Molinaro).

In addition to his honorary Oscar, he received 10 of Italy’s David di Donatello awards (mostly for notable Italian films including “Canone Inverso” and “Baaria”); two more Golden Globes for “The Legend of 1900” and “Hateful Eight”; a Grammy and another BAFTA for “The Untouchables” plus a Grammy Trustee award in 2014; ASCAP’s Golden Soundtrack Award, and the career achievement award of the Film Music Society.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte paid tribute to the composer on Monday, writing on Twitter: “We will always remember, with infinite gratitude, the artistic genius of the Maestro #EnnioMorricone.”

“It made us dream, move, reflect, writing memorable notes that will remain unforgettable in the history of music and cinema” he added.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella offered condolences to the family of the “distinguished” artist.

“Both a refined and popular musician, he has left a deep mark in the history of music in the second part of the 20th century,” he said. “Through his soundtracks, he has greatly contributed in spreading and reinforcing Italy’s prestige around the world.”

 

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