By MARTIN STEINBERG
UNITED NATIONS — Ennio Morricone, who has been performing for some six decades and is heading to Hollywood to pick up a long-awaited Academy Award, finally made his conducting debut on the shores of the United States. The night before his first official U.S. concert at Radio City, the 78-year-old Italian conducted the Rome Sinfonietta Orchestra on Friday in a performance for invited guests who filled the U.N. General Assembly hall.
Morricone, whose iconic theme from ‘‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’’ is among his more than 400 film scores, picks up an honorary Oscar at the end of the month after having been passed over by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences five times.
On Friday night, his mission was to honor the United Nations. Morricone dedicated the performance to the U.N. staff and their labors for peace.
‘‘Maestro Morricone, all of us working on this formidable task deeply appreciate this gesture of solidarity,’’ said new Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who returned only two hours earlier from a nine-day, 11-nation tour.
‘‘Your music is a [portrait of] the United Nations. It is full of drama. It has the illusion to tell stories about people with deep dreams. It has also shown us the good, the bad and the ugly.’’