Oscar-winning composer Vangelis (✝79) is dead

In a Twitter post, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wrote that Vangelis was “a pioneer of electronic sounds”.

Vangelis, who was born on March 23, 1943 in Agria near Volos, Greece and whose real name is Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, was considered one of the pioneers of electronic music alongside artists such as Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze and Jean-Michel Jarre. He became world famous with catchy compositions for films such as “The Hour of the Victor”, “Blade Runner” or “1492: The Conquest of Paradise”.

From prog rock to the World Cup anthem

Vangelis actually wanted to be a painter and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Athens. He taught himself music. In 1968 he moved to Paris and had his first international success there with the Greek musicians Demis Roussos and Loukas Sideras. Together they formed the group Aphrodite’s Child. Vangelis composed the music for the LP “666”, which is considered a classic of progressive rock. In 1973 Vangelis started his solo career and experimented with electronic music. After the Oscar for “Chariots of Fire” came success after success.

At the beginning of the new millennium, Vangelis also began experimenting with orchestral music. In 2002 he composed the music for the soccer World Cup in Korea and Japan. In Athens he founded the institution Evangelos Papathanassiou, which wants to help young musicians and contribute to the promotion of music.