Ennio Morricone was born in Rome in 1928. He studied composition with Goffredo Petrassi at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome and then for a long period of time he experimented in all of the various areas connected to today's musical compositions: at the beginning he was an orchestrator and conductor for record labels, then he became a composer for the theatre, for the radio and the television and finally for the cinema where he wrote an extensive series of sound tracks. His incessant activities in these areas weren't able to dissuade him, however, from working on chamber or orchestra music, which he diligently cultivated, composing numerous works.
Ennio Morricone is among the legendary names for the music of international films. He has written more than 400 sound tracks, obtaining very prestigious international recognition. After commencing as an arranger and author of light music, he started to write for the cinema, making his debut in 1961 with Il Federale by Luciano Salce.
He became famous all over the world with Sergio Leone's westerns, starting out with A fistful of dollars (1964). Apart from Leone with whom, following the production of the other westerns, he made Once upon a time in America in 1984, Morricone developed many important artistic relationships with numerous directors, for example Elio Petri: Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (Investigation of a citizen above suspicion), La classe operaia va in paradiso (The working class goes to heaven), Todo Modo, Buone notizie; Gillo Pontecorvo: La battaglia di Algeri (The battle of Algiers), Queimada and Ogro; Pier Paolo Pasolini: Uccellacci e uccellini and Teorema; Luciano Salce: Il Federale, La cuccagna, La voglia matta, Le monachine; Giuseppe Patroni Griffi: Metti una sera a cena; Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Allosanfan, Il prato; Bernardo Bertolucci: Novecento, La Luna, La tragedia di un uomo ridicolo; Mauro Bolognini: L'assoluto naturale, Metallo, Fatti di gente perbene; Giuliano Montaldo:Sacco e Vanzetti, Giordano Bruno, Gott mit uns, L'Agnese va a morire, Marco Polo; Giuseppe Tornatore:Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso), Stanno tutti bene, Una pura formalità (A pure formality), L'uomo delle stelle (The star maker), La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano (The legend of the pianist on the ocean), Malena; Dario Argento: L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (The bird with the crystal plumage), Il gatto a nove code, Quattro mosche di velluto grigio (The four velvet flies), La sindrome di Stendhal (The Stendhal syndrome), Il fantasma dell'opera (The phantom of the opera); and Ricky Tognazzi: La scorta, Canone inverso.
Abroad, he worked with Don Siegel on Two mules for Sister Sara, with Brian De Palma on The Untouchables, Casualties of war; Wolfgang Peterson: In the line of fire; Roland Joffé: The mission, City of joy, Phil Joanou, State of Grace. He also worked with Berry Levinson on Bugsy; Warren Beatty with Love Affair; Adrian Lyne on Lolita and Oliver Stone on U-Turn.
For television, among the numerous fiction films, he signed a contract for Mosè (Moses), Marco Polo, I Promessi Sposi, Il cielo sotto il deserto, Nostromo, Ultimo, Ultimo la sfida, Il quarto re, Padre Pio, Nanà, Perlasca un eroe italiano, Un difetto di famiglia.