The Greek Prime Minister has just announced the disappearance of Vangelis Papathanassiou, at the age of 79.
“Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer with us. (…) The world of music has lost the international artist Vangelis. The protagonist of electronic sound, Oscars, myth and great successes. (…) His 2nd first name was Odysseus, For us Greeks this means that he began his great journey on the Chariots of Fire. From there he will always send us his notes.” It is with this sad message that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the death of the composer of blade runnerfrom chariots of fireof 1492: Christopher Columbus or evenalexander : Vangelis died at the age of 79 in a French hospital, following Covid. In all, this pioneer of electronic music (alongside Jean-Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream) has composed a dozen film scores throughout his career. He is also famous for having signed the 2002 FIFA World Cup anthem.
Born in 1943 in Volos, Vangelis first made a name for himself in Greece, then in France, notably thanks to the progressive rock group Aphrodite’s Child, founded with Demis Roussos and Lucas Sideras. He began to compose music for the cinema in the 1970s with the soundtrack of Sex Powerby Henry Chapier, but it was a decade later that he exploded worldwide by receiving the Oscar for best music in 1982 for The Chariots of Fireespecially against John Williams who was competing for an equally cult soundtrack: that of the first IndianaJones.
Three things to know about… Chariots of Fire
Not being present to receive this award because he was already working on the soundtrack of blade runner for Ridley Scott, he found the filmmaker in 1992 for 1492: Christopher Columbus. Also imagining the music ofalexander for Oliver Stone, in 2004, he continued to offer new compositions until very recently: Juno to Jupiterhis latest album, was designed in collaboration with NASA and was released in 2021.
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