The Oscar-winning Greek composer and synth artist has died, aged 79.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis shared the news of Vangelis’ death yesterday (19 May) via Twitter and representatives of the pioneering musician confirmed that he passed away at a French hospital on Tuesday (17 May). In Mitsotakis’ post he praised Vangelis – real name Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou – as “the protagonist of electronic sound, the Oscars, the Myth and the great hits.” Artists such as AceMo, Cosey Fanni Tutti and Hudson Mohawke have paid their tributes to the late composer.
Vangelis was famed for creating the soundtracks for films such as Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire – the latter of which won him an Academy Award in 1982. He started out in rock bands Forminx and Aphrodite’s Child in the 60s and 70s before turning to composing music for film and TV. Vangelis pioneered synthesizer music in film soundtracks and was instrumental in defining dystopian sci-fi soundscapes. He released his last album Juno to Jupiter in 2021, which was inspired NASA’s Juno space probe.
Read a selection of tributes to the late electronic music pioneer below.
RIP Vangelis and thank you for your astoundingly beautiful music. ❤️
— Cosey Fanni Tutti (@coseyfannitutti) May 20, 2022
early inception, forever inspiration : Vangelis pic.twitter.com/in77iglodb
— Ꭺ Ꮯ Ꭼ Ꮇ Ꮎ (@AceM0) May 19, 2022
Oh noooooo. RIP Vangelis
Guy didn’t know any music theory and just taught himself to play 8 keyboards at once 100% on instinct. Absolute legend. Wild to think that sort of music was in the pop charts also.
— Hudson Mohawke (@HudMo) May 19, 2022
rest in peace Vangelis. brilliant composer & performer, OG psychedelic freak lifetimes ago, peerless gear head, merciless puller of our heartstrings 💜🙏 pic.twitter.com/ZSRMUDYmqt
— Good Willsmith (@GoodWillsmith) May 19, 2022
YOU’RE IN THE COSMOS NOW VANGELIS, WHERE YOU WILL LIVE FOREVER. pic.twitter.com/xlshDooevJ
— SAFDIE (@JOSH_BENNY) May 19, 2022