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 Stone, Greek 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 world music scene has lost the international “Vangelis”, the protagonist of electronic sound, Oscars, Mythology and hits. For us Greeks, who know that his middle name was Odysseus, it means that he started his long journey towards the Chariots of Fire. From there, he will always send us his notes.

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 a summary of his career in a BBC tribute, he first tasted fame in the late 1960s. Vangelis started out as keyboardist in 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.

H/T – Rolling Stone

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