Legendary Italian composer performs at UN in support of its global work
The concert, held in the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York, featured a 170-piece symphony orchestra and polyphonic choir performing pieces based on original scores which were composed, orchestrated and conducted by Mr. Morricone.
Selections included the composition “Voci dal Silenzio” (“Voices from Silences”) which he wrote after the events of 11 September 2001 and is in memory of victims of all massacres throughout history.
Mr. Morricone, who is set to receive an Honorary Academy Award this month to celebrate his many contributions to cinematic music, dedicated tonight’s performance to all UN staff.
Mr. Ban paid tribute to Mr. Morricone and his musicians “for recognizing the valiant work carried out by our men and women around the world – for peace, for human rights, for the environment, for the Millennium Development Goals.” These targets, known as MDGs, were agreed to at a 2000 UN Summit and aim to slash a host of global ills such as poverty and illiteracy by the year 2015.
“Maestro Morricone, all of us working on these formidable tasks deeply appreciate this gesture of solidarity,” the Secretary-General said.
In his prolific career, Mr. Morricone has scored over 450 movies and television programmes. He is a five-time Oscar nominee for the music he composed for “Days of Heaven,” “The Mission,” “The Untouchables,” “Bugsy” and “Malena.”
He also helped to define the spaghetti western genre, having collaborated with famed Italian film director Sergio Leone on such movies as “A Fistful of Dollars.” Other well-known Morricone scores include “Nuevo Cinema Paradiso,” “Once Upon a Time in America” and “The Legend of 1900,” for which he won a Golden Globe Award.
Mr. Ban praised Mr. Morricone’s drama-filled compositions which have “been used to tell stories about people with big dreams,” but has also showed us “the good, the bad and the ugly,” borrowing the title of one of Mr. Morricone’s most famous films.
“In other words, your music could serve as the soundtrack for my first few weeks in office!” joked Mr. Ban, whose tenure as Secretary-General began on 1 January.