Rome, Italy, Apr 15, 2019 / 11:29 am
Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone was awarded the Gold Medal of the Pontificate Monday for his artistic accomplishments.
The Vatican told the National Catholic Register that Pope Francis awarded the 90-year-old composer because of his "extraordinary artistic work in the sphere of music, universal language of peace, solidarity and spirituality."
The award was presented April 15 by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, in Rome's Sant'Agnese in Agone church in Piazza Navona.
The ceremony included a performance of the "St. John Passion" by Johann Sebastian Bach, which was written for Holy Week in 1724. The work recounts the Passion and Death of Jesus as told in the Gospel of St. John chapters 18 and 19, and is performed by an orchestra, choir, chorale, and six soloists.