It’s the first legit win for the 87-year-old composer who was lauded in 2006 at the 79th Academy Awards with a career Oscar. The Hateful Eight marked Ennio Morricone’s sixth Oscar nom, his first in 16 years since 2000’s Malena. Prior to that, Morricone was nominated for Bugsy (1991), The Untouchables (1987), The Mission (1986) and Days of Heaven (1978).

“Thank you, the Academy, for this prestigious acknowledgement,” the composer said onstage in Italian. “My tribute goes to the other nominees, and in particular to the esteemed John Williams. There isn’t a great soundtrack without a great movie that inspires it. I want to thank Quentin Tarantino for having chosen me, Harvey Weinstein and the entire team who made this extraordinary film. I dedicate this award to my wife Maria, who is there watching me. Thank you.”

The Hateful Eight is Morricone’s first Western score in 40 years in a career that spans 500 films over six decades. He’s been the hands down front runner all season after collecting awards for Hateful Eight‘s score at The Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. Quentin Tarantino has used Morricone’s themes in his films since Kill Bill. He flew to Rome to convince Morricone to do the score for Hateful Eight. Morricone agreed at first to just providing a theme, but then came around to writing the entire score.