FRANCE — The Oscar-winning composer Vangelis died at 79 years old on Tuesday, May 17, in France.
The “Blade Runner” and “Chariots of Fire” composer’s death resulted from his contraction from the coronavirus disease.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis shared a tweet announcing the recent passing of Vangelis, whose full name is Vangelis Papathanassiou.
Alongside the Prime Minister are the government officials, who also expressed their condolences to the composer who also wrote the award-winning music for dozens of other documentaries, movies, and TV series.
The public recognizes him as a pioneer in electronic music who defined a generation of film soundtracks with his distinctive musical style.
In 1982, Vangelis’s “Chariots of Fire” theme won him an Academy Award for best original score resulting in him beating out John Williams’ music score for the first Indiana Jones film.
The song reached number one on the Billboard chart in the US and became an enduring hit in Britain, where they played it for the medal presentation ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics.
The keyboard wizard and experimentalist, known to be a solitary and self-taught person, switched from psychedelic rock and synth to ethnic music and jazz.
Throughout his career for over five decades, he pulled on wildlife, futuristic architecture, the New Testament, space exploration, and the 1968 French student riots as his inspiration.
His musical effort included more than a dozen film soundtracks, including Roman Polanski’s ‘Bitter Moon,’ Oliver Stone’s epic ‘Alexander,’ alongside Costa-Gavras’s ‘Missing,’ ‘Antarctica’ and ‘The Bounty.’
He was also a Greek composer who wrote music for ballets and theater productions and the 2002 FIFA World Cup Anthem.
Last 2018, he made a piece composed for Stephen Hawking’s funeral that included the late professor’s words. The European Space Agency then broadcast the written composition into space.
He received numerous accolades, including France’s Legion d’Honneur, the Max Steiner film music award, Greece’s top honor, the Order of the Phoenix, and NASA’s Public Service Medal. – WhatALife!