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19th May 2022

Oscar winning composer Vangelis has died, aged 79

Hugh Carr


The musician composed for “Chariots of Fire” and “Blade Runner”.

Influential film soundtrack composer Vangelis has died, aged 79.

Lawyers representing the musician confirmed his passing via a statement on Thursday (19 May).

Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou was born in Agria, a small town in Greece before growing up in Athens.

Papathanassíou began his career in 1963, forming a band called The Forminx.

While the band found some success in Europe across their three year tenure, Vangelis found his stride in the 70s performing with bands such as Aphrodite’s Child.

The composer began working on several documentaries, using synthesisers to capture his signature sound.

The work brought Vangelis to mainstream fame, providing him with the opportunity to compose music for the film “Chariots of Fire”.

The soundtrack won the Oscar for Best Original Score in 1982, with Vangelis’ theme instantly becoming an iconic piece of music.

The film’s theme reached number one in charts worldwide, and has been used and parodied in pop culture to this day, with one example being used in the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

Vangelis’ other most critically acclaimed work was the Blade Runner soundtrack, with the music being nominated for its combination of synthesisers and jazz.

Both the film and the soundtrack have regularly been cited as influential works in their fields, with Blade Runner topping lists as the greatest sci-fi film of all time.

Vangelis’ other work includes Missing, Alexander, and Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.

Tributes have poured in from musicians across the world, with Vangelis being described as one of the most influential electronic musicians ever.

“Wow, an icon leaves us,” tweeted Austin Wintory, Grammy nominated composer for video games such as Journey, Flow, and John Wick: Hex.

“Farewell Vangelis, who changed an entire era of music, and has subsequently been rediscovered a few decades later by a whole new crop. What a legacy.”

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