Tributes have been paid to Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who created The Good, The Bad And The Ugly's theme, following his death aged 91.

The Oscar-winning composer, known as the Maestro, died in a Rome hospital earlier today of complications after he broke his leg in a fall.

Over seven decades he has composed more than 500 film scores – including Once Upon a Time in the West, The Thing, The Mission, The Untouchables, Cinema Paradiso and Frantic.

Mr Morricone famously played an open air show at Blenheim Palace in 2016 joined by a 200-piece orchestra for its Nocturne Live series.

Promoter Ciro Romano said: “In 2016, Nocturne Live produced and presented Ennio Morricone’s first - and last - show in the UK outside London, at Blenheim Palace.

"Not only was it one of the highlights of the Nocturne Live series, it was one of the highlights of my career. I was immensely proud and emotional hosting one of music’s true icons and a true pioneer in his field.

"He was a joy to work with and, together with his 200 strong orchestra and choir, performed a stirring set drawing from his long career which will be etched in the memories of those who attended. He will be greatly missed.”

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At the time, Mr Morricone told the Oxford Mail: "Blenheim Palace is a wonderful building. I was very excited to come to Oxford, but when I am conducting, all I am concerned about is the music – despite the wonderful surroundings.

"I feel pleased just playing and conducting. I don’t think about what I am conducting, I just think about what extent this music can be appreciated by the audience. That’s the only thing. I put all of myself into live conducting and am always concerned by the reaction – whether people like it or not.”

Fellow composer Hans Zimmer spoke of Morricone's influence. He said: "Ennio was an icon and icons just don't go away, icons are forever.

"It really has taken me by surprise as he was still touring. I saw him about a year ago. He seemed strong. He was conducting at the O2."

Oxford Mail:

Ennio Morricone at Blenheim Palace. Picture: Tim Hughes

He added: "He was a major influence on me. The first movie I ever saw was Once Upon A Time In The West. I heard the music and saw those images and I said, 'That's what I want to do'."

Zimmer said Morricone's music was "always outstanding, and done with great emotional fortitude and great intellectual thought".

Film director Edgar Wright paid tribute, saying: "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."

Dance music duo Orbital, who were among the early electronic acts inspired by Morricone's scores, described him as a "great influence" and "one of the best film composers of all time".

New Order frontman Bernard Sumner called Morricone one of his "musical heroes" in a post on his group's Twitter page.

He said: "I saw with great sadness that one of my musical heroes, Ennio Morricone has passed away today. His music introduced me to albums and the first album I ever bought was one of his. He made beautiful emotional music and was the master of melody."

French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre said: "Ennio Morricone a unique sound magnificent melodies, a major influence & constant source of inspiration: Love and respect."

Various groups from the worlds of music and film, including Film4, the British Film Institute and the Royal Philharmonic Society, also paid tribute.

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During a career that spanned decades and earned him a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2007, Morricone collaborated with some of the most renowned directors in the world.

He took the best original score Oscar for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight in 2016.

It is perhaps his work with Italian film-maker Sergio Leone - who was a school-mate of Morricone's - that is the most instantly recognisable.

The Dollars trilogy of so-called spaghetti westerns from the 1960s were massively influential and made Clint Eastwood an international film star.