Ennio Morricone – Sixty Seconds to What
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Ennio Morricone, Grand Officer OMRI ( born 10 November 1928) is an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor and former trumpet player, who has written music for more than 500 motion pictures and television series, as well as contemporary classical works. His career includes a wide range of composition genres, making him one of the most versatile, prolific and influential film composers of all time. Morricone’s music has been used in more than 70 award-winning films.
Born in Rome, Morricone’s absolute music production includes over 100 classical pieces composed since 1946. During the late 1950s he served as a successful studio arranger for RCA. He orchestrated over 500 songs with them and worked with musicians such as Paul Anka, Chet Baker and Mina.
However, Morricone gained worldwide fame by composing (during the period 1960–75) the music for Italian westerns by directors such as Sergio Leone, Duccio Tessari, Sergio Sollima, and Sergio Corbucci, including the Dollars Trilogy, A Pistol for Ringo, The Return of Ringo, The Big Gundown, Navajo Joe, Face to Face, Death Rides a Horse, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Great Silence, The Mercenary, Compañeros, Duck, You Sucker! and My Name is Nobody.
During the 1960s and ’70s, Morricone composed music for many film genres, ranging from comedy and drama to action thrillers and historical films.
He achieved commercial success with several compositions, including “The Ecstasy of Gold”, the theme of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Man with Harmonica, the protest song “Here’s to You” sung by Joan Baez and “Chi Mai.”
Between 1964 and 1980 Morricone was also the trumpet player and a co-composer for the avant-garde free improvisation group Il Gruppo. In 1978, he wrote the official theme for the 1978 FIFA World Cup.
From the late-1970s, Morricone excelled in Hollywood, composing music for American directors such as John Carpenter, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Mike Nichols, Oliver Stone and Samuel Fuller.