Vangelis Papathanassiou, one of the most important Greek composers known abroad as Vangelis, died this Thursday in a hospital in France, where he was recently treated for Covid-19.
Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou (composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz and orchestral music. And for the films Blade Runner (1982), Missing ( 1982), Antarctica (1983), The Bounty (1984), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) and Alexander (2004) and used his music in the 1980 PBS documentary series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.
The great greek composer
Vangelis began his career in the 1960s with several pop groups such as The Forminx and Aphrodite’s Child, whose album 666 (1972) was recognized as a progressive psychedelic rock classic. In the 1970s, Vangelis composed the scores for several animal documentaries, including L’Apocalypse des Animaux, La Fête sauvage and Opéra sauvage; the success of these scores propelled him into the mainstream of film music. In the early 1980s, Vangelis formed a musical partnership with Jon Anderson, frontman of the progressive rock band Yes, and the two released multiple albums together under the name Jon & Vangelis.
In 1980, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score. The single from the film’s theme soundtrack also topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and was used as the background music for the 2012 London Olympics awards ceremony.
With a music career spanning over 50 years, writing and performing over 50 albums, Vangelis is considered one of the most important figures in the history of electronic music.