It is with reverence and gratitude that we pay homage to the extraordinary composer, arranger and conductor Ennio Morricone, born in 1928. The great maestro embarked on his musical career in the 1940s as a trumpet player in jazz combos, but he composed his way into the consciousness of the masses through his music for the westerns of Sergio Leone. Alongside more than 100 orchestral, vocal/instrumental and chamber pieces, he created the scores for more than 500 films. He received a whole series of awards for his achievements in film music, including two Golden Globes, a Grammy and European Film Award, a lifetime achievement Oscar and an Oscar for best original score for the film The Hateful Eight.
Among his most lauded compositions are undoubtedly the scores for Sergio Leone’s western trilogy A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In his career spanning multiple decades he collaborated with numerous major directors such as Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodóvar, Brian De Palma, Roman Polanski and Oliver Stone. Along with composers such as Henry Mancini, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Vangelis and Philip Glass he undoubtedly ranks among the greatest composers of film music. He also composed music for performers such as Paul Anka, Mina, Milva, Zucchero and Andrea Bocelli.
Ennio Morricone wrote music for a variety of film genres, ranging from westerns, crime movies and thrillers to dramas, romances and comedies. He is recognised for his skilful use of the widest variety of musical sources – folk songs, jingles, liturgical and classical music – which he re-crafted into a dramatic audio enhancement of the events in the film. From his earliest compositions right up to the present day his music has inspired musicians, be it pop, rock, metal, hip hop or electronic music.
Here in Slovenia, in 2008 at the 56th Ljubljana Festival he gave a guest performance with an orchestra from Rome. At a concert evening entitled simply Morricone, where the orchestra performed in Ljubljana for the first time outside Italy, they staged a new cantata of the world-famous composer of film music. The music of the great maestro has been a feature of the repertoire of Festival Ljubljana ever since 1997, and his unique and monumental work will undoubtedly continue to enrich us in the future.