Oscar-winning composer Vangelis dies aged 79
Legendary Greek composer and musician Vangelis, who worked on Oscar-winning scores for films like Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, died earlier this week at 79.
In a statement confirmed by Vangelis’ private office on his Elsewhere fan page, news of his death was announced on Tuesday evening. The news was later confirmed by the Athens News Agency, but no official cause of death has yet been provided.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias wrote in a tweet translated as follows: “Vangelis Papathanassiou was a great Greek composer who excelled globally. We say goodbye with a big “thank you” for what he has offered to music, culture and Greece.
As translated by rolling stoneGreek Prime Minister Kyriajos Mitsotakis tweeted his tribute sharing, “Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer with us. For the whole world, this sad news demonstrates that the global music scene has lost the international ‘Vangelis’, the protagonist of the his electronics, Oscars, Mythology and hits. For us Greeks, who know that his second name was Odysseus, it means that he began his long journey to the Chariots of Fire. From there he will always send us his grades.
Beginning his musical journey early, he learned the piano at a very young age, but despite enrolling in a music school in Athens, he never formally learned to read or write music.
As noted in an overview of his career in a tribute by BBChe first tasted fame in the late 1960s. Vangelis started out as a keyboardist for Aphrodite’s Child with singer Demis Roussos.
His groundbreaking work for the iconic Chariots of Fire and Bladerunner soundtracks are some of his most iconic works and will live forever.
He went on to become a groundbreaking electronic solo artist beyond his work in films and enjoyed chart success with Yes frontman Jon Anderson as Jon and Vangelis.
An inspiration to many in the electronic music world, heartfelt tributes poured in for the legend. From Jean Michel Jarre to Armin Van Buuren, stories of inspiration, collaboration and more testify to how his work helped shape the soundscape of an entire era.
We will all forever remember your unique touch and soulful melodies.
You and I have always shared the same passion for synthesizers and electronic music for so long…
Rest in peace,
JMJ x pic.twitter.com/egL8rNbIHn
— Jean-Michel Jarre (@jeanmicheljarre) May 19, 2022
I am so sad to hear the terrible news of Vangelis passing. I had the privilege of meeting him in Paris last year. He was one of my heroes, a great inspiration and just a beautiful person. I still listen to his albums a lot. May he rest in peace. 😢 pic.twitter.com/iexSTK4MPk
— Armin van Buuren (@arminvanbuuren) May 19, 2022
RIP Vangelis also Klaus Schulze – big inspiration to me in my early years, found their records in my dad’s collection (with Kraftwerk) – paid 100% tribute to them on FROM WITHIN records with (also RIP) Pete Namlook – also another amazing musician ❤️ everyone
— richiehawtin (@richiehawtin) May 20, 2022
Very sad to hear the news of Vangelis’ recent passing. I’ve always loved his Blade Runner soundtrack. Then, in the mid-90s, I had the honor of writing and singing a song on his “Voices” album; an immense talent who will be missed by his family, and the world of music pic.twitter.com/QkkmxfarmZ
— Paul Young (@PaulYoungTalk) May 19, 2022
..it’s hard to underestimate Vangelis’ colossal impact on modern film music. It’s also hard to fathom how revolutionary CHARIOTS OF FIRE was. A period British film with phenomenal synth music.
Watch one of the biggest openings of all time:https://t.co/fL3XSxcsyq
—Daniel Pemberton (@DANIELPEMBERTON) May 19, 2022
Epic music worthy of an epic journey. Thanks to the legendary composer Vangelis for providing the score to so many #JunoMissiondiscoveries of Jupiter.
— NASA Solar System (@NASASolarSystem) May 19, 2022
H/T – rolling stone