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.