The Greek composer of Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire, Vangelis Papathanassiou, nicknamed Vangelis, has died at the age of 79, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced Thursday evening.
“Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer with us,” tweeted the Prime Minister. “The music world has lost (artist) international Vangelis,” his tweet added.
A pioneer of electronic music, this autodidact had found his inspiration in space exploration, nature, futuristic architecture, the New Testament and the student movement of May 1968.
His soundtrack for Chariots of Fire was Oscar-winning against the music of John Williams made for the first Indiana Jones film in 1982.
“It is with great sadness that we announce that the great Greek Vangelis Papathanassiou died late on the night of Tuesday May 17,” also announced his lawyer quoted Thursday by the Greek news agency ANA.
According to several Greek media, Vangelis died of the coronavirus in France where he shared his time with London and Athens.
Mr. Mitsotakis also pointed out that Vangelis' middle name was Ulysses. “For us Greeks, this means that he began his great journey on the chariots of Fire. From there, he will always send us his notes,” Mr. Mitsotakis tweeted again.
Among the dozen soundtracks he has composed are those for the Costa-Gavras film Missing, Roman Polanski's Lunes de fiel and Oliver Stone's "Alexander".