Michele Lacerenza was born in a musical family, the son of Maestro Giacomo Lacerenza. He studied at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome, where he graduated in 1943. It was also where he met and made friends with Ennio Morricone.
After the war, he started his career as a conductor, (accompanying among others Carlo Dapporto and Wanda Osiris) and composer for musicals, soundtracks and songs. Together with Elvio Monti he wrote the music of Fontane d'Italia, made famous by Claudio Villa in 1962.
With Morricone Lacerenza found himself in the world of cinema, playing his trumpet in various soundtracks. When Morricone was scoring Leone‘s FOR A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS he immediately thought of his friend Lacerenza to play the solo trumpet in one of the two main themes, coming at a clash with Leone who would have preferred Nini Rosso, at the time a very succesful musician. Morricone managed to prevail amd Lacerenza’s trumpet-piece became one of the most evocative and famous pieces of music ever heard in film. While working as a teacher at the Umberto Giordano Conservatory of Foggia he carried on his activity of scoring films. He was also trumpet soloist in the RAI Orchestra in Rome, playing with Maestro Enrico Simonetti. His solo trumpet is heard on WRATH OF GOD, PRAY TO GOD AND DIG YOUR GRAVE, THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY, SEVEN DOLLARS ON TEH RED, A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and many more.
In 1969 he scored QUEL MALEDETTO PONTE SULL’ELBA (a.k.a. LEGION OF NO RETURN, NO IMPORTA MORIR), a war film by León Klimovsky starring Tab Hunter and Claudio Trionfi; the story of a group of Allied commandos sent on a mission to bomb an Axis bridge on the Elbe.