Ennio Morricone: biography
Ennio Morricone is an Italian composer, musician, and conductor who has become world famous for his soundtracks to the movies. The compositions created by the musician accompany popular Hollywood movies. He has repeatedly received the main prizes for the soundtracks.
Ennio Morricone was born in Rome on the 10th of November, 1928 in the family of a housewife and a musician. His father was working as a jazz trumpet player. The boy was the eldest one from five children in the family. The heredity and the atmosphere of the house have significantly influenced Ennio's choice of occupation to which he wanted to dedicate himself.
At the age of twelve, the boy became the pupil of the Roman National Academy of St Cecilia and found his mentor in the person of Goffredo Petrassi. During eleven years of studies, the young man received the education in three spheres and got the diploma in the classes of composition, orchestra, and trumpet. The guy combined his studies with a part-time job.
At the age of sixteen Morricone began to perform in the ensemble of Alberto Flamini in which his father was performing in the past. Together with the group, the young man performed musical compositions in casinos, hotels, and restaurants. At the age of seventeen he became the theatrical actor, and in a year he demonstrated his skills as a composer.
Ennio created his first music pieces during his studies at the conservatory when he composed the arrangements of the folklore melodies for television and radio. At that time his surname didn’t appear in the credits as the musician wasn't known to the audience.
In one of the interviews to the press, the composer told that he was working not with the melody itself but with the structure of the composition. Despite the traditional representation the composer created the music not behind the musical instrument but sitting at the table. He was thinking about the conception and then tried to describe it with the notes. The musician explained his new ideas with inspiration. He highly valued and gave priority to work on the new ideas which he needed to bring to perfection.
The creation of the arrangements appeared to be the main occupation of Morricone. Alongside with this musician finished his education. At that time he cooperated with well-known singers and continued to work in the theater. In 1960-s the composer began to compose the soundtracks for the Italian westerns. Due to this, he recommended himself in the appropriate professional circles.
Morricone paid attention to cinematography and realized himself as an author. He collaborated with Gianni Morandi and created arrangements for the movies directed by Paul Anka.
The movie Death of a Friend which came out in 1959 and the film The Fascist released in 1961 are considered to be the debut of the musician in the cinema.
Ennio Morricone became successful after the joint project with his former schoolmate Sergio Leone who shot the film A Fistful of Dollars. Being engaged in the work on the sound score of the film, the arranger focused on the use of unusual musical instruments. In the creation of the melody, he used the bells, the electric guitar, and pipes of Pan. In the credits of the film, Morricone appeared under the pseudonym of Leo Nichols.
After that Ennio Morricone was engaged in the work on historical movies directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. He became famous as a composer who created the touching melodies. Then the composer began to cooperate with Dario Argento and other directors. The eminent representatives of cinematography paid attention to the composer.
In 1964 Morricone began to work at RCA recording studio. He created arrangements for the pop-stars. Mario Lanza, Miranda Martino, and Gianni Morandi performed the compositions created by Ennio Morricone.
The popularity of the movie composer has opened him the doors to the Hollywood behind the scenes. The composer and the arranger in one person has composed the soundtracks to more than 400 movies. Once in a month there was released the film in which sounded the melodies created by the talented Italian composer.
The musician has become an international composer working with representatives of German, Spanish, French, Russian and American cinematography. Morricone has had cooperation with Pedro Almodovar, Roman Polanski, Pierre Paolo Pasolini, and Brian De Palma.
Answering the questions of the journalists, the composer never preferred the definite genre in cinematography. He composed jazz, classical melodies, and paid attention to the Italian folk music and also had experimented with the avant-garde genres and rock'n'roll. It's noteworthy that since 1980 the American rockers from Metallica band started their concerts with performing of the composition under the title "The Ecstasy Of Gold" which was the soundtrack to the movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Morricone received Academic Awards as movie composer for five times. In 1987 he got Grammy and Golden Globe Awards for the soundtrack to the film The Untouchables.
Ennio Morricone's biography is connected not only with cinematography. The composer didn't forget about his interest in the chamber music. Since 1958 he participated in the tours as a conductor of the orchestra and till 2018 he has been engaged in the concert activities in such a role. During the working period in the movies, the musician took part in episodic roles two times. In 1995 there was shot the film about his creative career and life, where Morricone received the leading role of himself. In 2007 the Producers Guild of America awarded the composed with Academic Awards for his contribution to the development of cinematography. The musical pieces composed by Ennio Morricone sound in the films The Professional, Once Upon a Time in America, The Legend of 1900, Bugsy, Inglourious Basterds, The Hateful Eight, in the series The Octopus and other projects.
Morricone lives in a happy marriage with Maria Travia. The spouses have been together for more than fifty years. The wife supports her husband in any ideas and ventures. They don’t quarrel in their family.
In their family, they have four children: three sons and daughter. Andrea continued the family business. As well as his grandfather and father, he dedicated himself to the music and composes music pieces for the movies. Giovanni is a theatrical director, Marco got a job in the Copyright Agency, and Ennio's daughter Alessandra has made a career in the sphere of medicine.
Morricone tells about his family and answers the questions about his personal life with great pleasure. The journalists are often interested whether the composer influenced his children’s choice of the future career or they did this on their own. The father notes that he gave them a chance to receive a good education and let his sons and a daughter a possibility to realize themselves.
Being quite old, the composer has an active lifestyle. The measured rhythm of life and proper nutrition help the composer to feel well and energetic. He wakes up early and goes to bed not late. Moreover, he often walks outside and doesn't drink strong alcoholic beverages. Morricone enjoys playing chess. Grandmasters Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov were his partners in this game.
The composer has also tried himself in the field of literature. In 1996 he published the book about the capital of Italy illustrated with the photos shot by August De Lucci. The project received the Rome Prize.
Ennio Morricone at present
The composer doesn't imagine his life without the music. In his hometown, he gives charity concerts and performs in the Vatican. Going on tours with the concerts all over the world, Morricone lets the listeners enjoy his traditional compositions "The Wind Cry" and "Chi Mai" and also his new works performed by the orchestra under his leadership.
As well as in the young years of the musician, the tickets for his concerts are sold very quickly after they appear in the ticket offices. In 2017 the producers of GEA Live company awarded the maestro for 500, 000 tickets sold during his world tour.
Morricone also visits Russia with his tours. In 2018 he visited St. Petersburg within the tour dedicated to the 60th anniversary of his musical career. The European tour dedicated to this event included 40 concerts in 30 European cities.
The composer continues his cooperation with the movie directors in cases when they offer him some interesting ideas. In the last movies directed by Quentin Tarantino Morricone's the composer's music was used. Though, the musician notes that he doesn't always compose the music, especially for the particular projects. Sometimes the director used already existing melodies, but there was prepared the exclusive soundtrack for the movie under the title The Hateful Eight.
At present Ennio Morricone is an owner of many Academic Awards and three-time winner of Golden Globe Awards. In his collection, he has nine David Di Donatello Awards in the category For Best Score.
- 1970 – Citta' Violenta
- 1977 – Music For Orchestra And Voice
- 1982 – B.S.O. Marco Polo
- 1984 – Once Upon A Time In America
- 1986 – The Big Gundown
- 1991 – The Thing
- 1996 – La Paura Secondo
- 1998 – Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo / La Resa Dei Conti
- 1998 – L'Ucello Dalle Piume Di Cristallo
- 1999 – Cinema Concert: Ennio Morricone at Santa Cecilia
- 2003 – Un Tranquillo Posto Di Campagna
- 2003 – Genti Di Rispetto/ Spasmo
- 2006 – Guardians Of The Clouds
- 1961 – The Fascist
- 1966 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- 1972 – The Master and Margherita
- 1981 – The Professional
- 1984 – Once Upon a Time in America
- 1987 – The Untouchables
- 1989 – A Time to Kill
- 1997 – Lolita
- 1998 – The Legend of 1900
- 1998 – The Phantom of the Opera
- 2000 – Malena
- 2004 – 72 meters
- 2012 – Django Unchained
- 2015 – The Hateful Eight
- 2016 – The Correspondence