The italian composer and conductor studied trumpet,
composition and choral music at the Conservatory of Santa
Cecilia. By the mid-50s, he established himself in the musical avant-garde of his country, composing for the theater, chamber music and orchestral works. After working as a music assistant and arranger at »Radiotelevisione Italiana« he wrote his first film score for Luciano Salce‘s Il Federale in 1961.
Morricone‘s successful partnership with his former schoolmate Sergio Leone began 1964. Within his film music, Morricone contributed significantly to the worldwide success of the Leone westerns, which are nowadays considered as cult films. Special recognition gained his film scores for the Spaghetti Western classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the epic Western Once Upon a Time in the West, Roland Joffé‘s drama Mission and Giuseppe Tornatore‘s Cinema Paradiso.
Altogether, Morricone composed music for 500 movies. His compositions are very different from the traditional symphonic Western soundtracks of Hollywood and his unusual sound elements like Jew‘s harp or coyotes howling, etc. were innovative and trendsetting.
In 2007 he received an Oscar for his life achievement.