Hans Zimmer has paid tribute to his fellow movie score composer Ennio Morricone, who has died at the age of 91.
Morricone, who penned the scores to more than 500 films, including many of Sergio Leone‘s seminal spaghetti westerns like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, passed away during the early hours of the morning on Monday (July 6, 2020) after being hospitalized with a fractured femur last week, his lawyer Giorgio Assumma confirmed in a statement to The Guardian.
Assumma said his client, “died at dawn on 6 July in Rome with the comfort of faith. He preserved until the final moment full lucidity and great dignity.”
Paying tribute to his fellow composer on BBC Breakfast, Zimmer said he was “devastated” by the Italian musician’s death as he had been conducting performances as late as last year (2019).
“Ennio was an icon and icons just don’t go away, icons are forever,” he mourned. “His music was always outstanding, and done with great emotional fortitude and great intellectual thought.”
Over the course of his career Morricone won one competitive Oscar, for his score for Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 movie The Hateful Eight, as well as an honorary Academy Award in 2007, four Grammy Awards and six BAFTAs – and is rated by many as the greatest film score composer ever.
Others who paid tribute included British director Edgar Wright, who wrote on Twitter: “Where to even begin with iconic composer Ennio Morricone? He could make an average movie into a must see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend. He hasn’t been off my stereo my entire life. What a legacy of work he leaves behind. RIP.”
Another acclaimed film composer Daniel Pemberton also paid tribute, while rock figures also praised his influence, with New Order’s Bernard Sumner calling Morricone “one of my musical heroes” on Twitter, and Orbital and Thom Yorke also paying their respects.