Ennio Morricone (born 10 November 1928 in Rome) is an Italian composer especially noted for his film scores. He has composed the scores of more than 500 films and TV series. Although only 30 of these are for Western films, it is for this work which he is best known. Morricone's sparse style of composition for the genre is particularly exemplified by the soundtracks of the classic spaghetti westerns The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966) and Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968).
He received his first Nastro d'Argento in 1970 for the music in Metti, Una Sera A Cena (Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, 1969) and his second only a year later for Sacco and Vanzetti (Guiliano Montaldo, 1971). He received his first nomination for an Academy Award in 1979 for the score to Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978) and another in 1986 for The Mission, 1987 for The Untouchables (Brian De Palma, 1987), 1991 for Bugsy (Barry Levinson, 1991) and 2001 for Malèna (Giuseppe Tornatore, 2000).
In 2003 he scored the Japanese Taiga drama about Miyamoto Musashi, Japan's legendary warrior. In 2005 he was on a world tour with the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra, touring from cities like New York, Bilbao, Bratislava and Tokyo. In 2006, Morricone collaborated with Morrissey by composing the string part for his song "Dear God Please Help Me", recorded in Rome's Forum Music Village Studios. In recognition of his vast body of work and dedication, Morricone received an honorary Academy Award in 2007; Morricone had received nominations for Best Original Score in the past, but had failed to win.
Ennio Morricone visited Ireland for the first time to perform his only UK and Ireland engagement of 2008 at the Opening Concert of the Belfast Festival at Queen's. The concert took place at Belfast's Waterfront Hall on Friday 17th October, just days before Morricone's 80th birthday. He conducted the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra and Belfast Philharmonic Choir, with over 100 musicians flying to Belfast especially for the occasion.