‘The world has lost a genius’ – worlds of music and film mourn composer Vangelis

19 May 2022, 21:34

Greece Obit Vangelis
Greece Obit Vangelis. Picture: PA

He wrote hit themes for films Chariots Of Fire and Blade Runner.

The worlds of music and film have hailed electronic composer Vangelis as a “genius” who “created music of extraordinary originality and power”.

The Greece-born musician who wrote the Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots Of Fire and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series, has died age 79.

Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, co-presidents of Decca Label Group, said: “The world has lost a genius.

“Vangelis created music of extraordinary originality and power, and provided the soundtrack to so many of our lives.

“Decca had the pleasure of partnering with Vangelis and his team for his past three albums and we will miss him enormously.

“His music will live on forever.”

Vangelis was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Bafta for his score on Sir Ridley Scott’s science fiction thriller Blade Runner in 1983.

Filmmaker Charles de Lauzirika, who produced Blade Runner, said: “My biggest disappointment making Dangerous Days was being unable to get Vangelis for an interview.

“His music, not just in Blade Runner, was otherworldly in beautiful and haunting ways I lack the words to describe.

“He created lush dream states I still love getting lost in.”

Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren told his more than 1.6 million twitter followers he was “sad” to hear the news.

He added: “I had the privilege to meet him in Paris last year.

“He was one of my heroes, a big inspiration and just a beautiful person.

“I still listen to his albums a lot.”

In a tribute posted on Instagram, French music composer Jean-Michel Jarre said: “We will all remember your unique touch and your moving melodies forever.

“You and I have always shared the same passion for synthesizers and electronic music since so long.”

Similarly, English singer-songwriter Paul Young said he was “very sad to hear the news of the recent passing of Vangelis.”

“I’d always loved his soundtrack to Blade Runner.

“Then in the mid 90’s I had the honour of writing & singing a song on his album “Voices,” an immense talent that will be missed by his family, and the world of music,” Young added.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other government officials also expressed their condolences.

“Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer among us,” Mr Mitsotakis tweeted.

Born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou on March 29 1943 near the city of Volos in central Greece, Vangelis started playing the piano at the age of four, although he got no formal training and claimed he never learned to read music.

He played in several bands and solo, but his huge breakthrough came with the score for Chariots Of Fire, a 1981 film that told the story of two British runners in the 20s.

Vangelis’s score received one of the four Academy Awards the film won.

The signature piece is one of the hardest-to-forget film tunes worldwide – and has also served as the musical background to endless slow-motion parodies.

Vangelis later wrote musical scores for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) and 1492: Conquest Of Paradise (1992), as well as for Missing (1982) and Antarctica (1983), among others.

When British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died in 2018, Vangelis composed a musical tribute for his interment that the ESA broadcast into space.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Police say that the suspect, 22, had mental health problems

Man charged with murder over Copenhagen shooting

Spanish military jets diverted the Menorca-bound easyJet flight for security checks.

Dramatic moment easyJet flight intercepted by fighter jets over 'hoax bomb threat'

Jake McLean (centre) was reportedly killed in the crash, whilst Yazmin Oukhellou (insert) was injured

Lauren Goodger's ex Jake McLean dies in car crash with TOWIE star Yazmin Oukhellou injured

A piece of glacier broke away on the Marmolada mountain

Six dead after chunk of glacier breaks off and slams into hikers on Italian mountain

Several people have been killed in a shooting in a Copenhagen shopping centre

Chilling video shows suspected Copenhagen gunman brandishing rifle before 3 were killed

Residents in a number of Sydney suburbs were ordered to evacuate

Thousands flee their homes as flooding hits Sydney

A woman died after losing an arm and a leg in a shark attack off the coast of Hurghada, Egypt

Second woman killed by shark off Egypt's red sea coast

Oscar Pistorius has met with the father of Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius meets victim Reeva Steenkamp's father in a bid for parole

North Korea has blamed its Covid outbreak on 'alien things' and balloons coming from South Korea.

North Korea blames Covid outbreak on 'alien things' and balloons from South

Exclusive
Boris Johnson said Putin does not have to give up power for there to be peace in Ukraine

Putin's made more than 30 nuke threats during Ukraine invasion, Boris tells LBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit back at western leaders for their lack of "machismo" and said it would be ‘disgusting’ to see Boris Johnson topless.

Putin mocks G7 leaders' lack of 'machismo' and says PM would look 'disgusting' topless

Ukraine has retaken Snake Island after Moscow's troops abandoned the strategic outpost in what Russia's Defence Ministry has described as a 'goodwill gesture'.

'Kaboom!' Ukraine celebrates Putin's humiliation as Russia retreats from Snake Island

President Joe Biden listens as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks

Ketanji Brown Jackson to be sworn in as US Supreme Court justice

An investigator works outside the Bataclan concert hall (Christophe Ena/PA)

Life without parole for surviving extremist who carried out Paris attacks

A shark is seen swimming across a sand bar (Phil Marcelo/AP)

Great white sharks head to Cape Cod as busy tourist season gets under way

Police outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris (Catherine Wylie/PA)

Men convicted of involvement in 2015 terror attacks in Paris