Michele Lacerenza.

Born in Taranto, Puglia, Italy on January 7th 1922. Michele Lacerenza was to become one of the most important musicians to be connected with the Italian cinema and in- particular the Italian western. Like Alessandroni, s whistle and guitar playing, Franco De Gemini’s excellent harmonica performances and Edda Dell Orso’s unique aural vocalising, Lacarenza was to make his mark on the western genre and also other movie scores with his inspired and unblemished trumpet playing.

Lacerenza came from a family background that was musical; his Father Giacomo Lacerenza was a well known conductor. Lacerenza came to the forefront of Italian film music when he was asked by composer Ennio Morricone to perform trumpet on “A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS”. The films director Sergio Leone had originally insisted on having Italy’s most prominent trumpet player at that time Nini Rosso to perform on the soundtrack, but Morricone wanted to use Lacerenza because he remembered his flawless performances whilst they were at the music conservatory and has stated since that he wrote the piece with Lacerenza’s trumpet in mind.

After playing the films central theme for Leone the great film-maker was said to be reduced to tears because Lacerenza’s performance was so full of emotion. Morricone described him as “A sublime trumpet player” After the success of A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, Lacerenza continued his collaboration with Morricone on scores such as A PISTOL FOR RINGO , FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY. Lacerenza became much in demand and began to perform on many other film soundtracks, it was also at this time that he had a hit record with a cover version of THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN (La Casa Del Sole) a song that had been a worldwide hit for British rock band The Animals.


Lacerenza’s career went from strength to strength and as well as performing on film scores and collaborating with composers such as Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota and Armando Trovaioli he also began to compose music for the cinema and although his output may not have been immense it was certainly important and original. The Maestro also taught music at the Foggia conservatory of music and the Santa Cecilia Academy.  He died in Rome on November 17th 1989.

10 thoughts on “Michele Lacerenza.”

  1. Excellent article. Lacarenza was so talented as a musician and put his heart into every track he played. You can hear his soul when he plays.

  2. Thank you for this great info about sublime trumpet player of Maestro Morricone. R.I.P. LACERENZA.

  3. Did Michele Lacerenza play trumpet on the title music of Edoardo Mulargia’s 1971 spaghetti Western “Brother’s Outlaw”? It sounds like him, but he is not credited on the film or on imdb.com. This has music by Felice Di Stefano and Gianfranco Di Stefano.

    1. i just listened to the music, yes I would say it is him, not sure on the whistler though does not sound like alessandroni, but the choir has the cantori moderni sound, it does sound very much like a fidenco western i think shame that stefano’s music has not been a wider release.

    2. I wonder how many more soundtracks Lacerenza worked on that are not listed on his IMDb credits. The playing on “Brother’s Outlaw” is outstanding. It was on TV this afternoon and as soon as it started I thought it must be him but was mystified by no credit on the film or on IMDB. I have the soundtrack CDs of “Wrath of God” and “Kidnapping”, I hope there will be a CD of “Brother’s Outlaw”.

    3. hi i dont think there will be a release as the music company that published the music is no longer around, which is a great shame. i would love a few of stefano’s scores to get a cd release,…Lacerenza was a genius…

    4. There is a German DVD of the movie itself on the Simple Movie label. Yes, he played the trumpet with such passion, even on an inferior Western like “Brother’s Outlaw”. One comment on a spaghetti Western board suggested the music was borrowed from another Western of the same year called “Finders Killers” for which Stelvio Cipriani is credited.

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