Vangelis (29/03/1943 - )
Vangelis is a world renowned Greek musician, one of the greatest composers of Greece. He is also considered the pioneer of electronic sound.
He was born in Volos in 1943. He is self – taught, as he never took any piano lessons. When he was six, he made his first public performance with his own compositions; his talent was evident even at this age. Later, he studied classical music, painting and directing at the Fine Arts Academy in Athens. When he was twenty years old, he formed the music band Forminx, which was very popular in Greece. In 1968, he moved to Paris where, along with Demis Roussos, he formed the band Aphrodite’s Child, which was very popular in Europe. Slowly but steadily, he started expanding his horizons in music through the use of electronics.
In the mid - 70s, Vangelis went to London, where he created his personal studio / workshop, thus having his own space in which he could further explore and experiment in music composition. His new songs, in which he used electronic sound even more, had international success and received rave reviews. In 1978, he collaborated with Greek actress Irene Papas in his album Ode, containing traditional Greek songs, while they had another fruitful collaboration in 1986 with the album Rhapsodies.
A large part of his compositions was created to accompany movies as soundtracks. His best soundtrack composition is considered The Chariots of Fire, which was used in the homonymous movie of 1981, which received the Academy Award for Best Song in 1982. The movie revolved around the effort of three British runners during the Olympic Games of 1924 in Paris. Vangelis has also composed music for many other well – known movies, including Blade Runner (1982), Mutiny on the Bounty (1984), 1492 – Conquest of Paradise (1992), Alexander (2004) and El Greco (2007).
On 28 June 2001, Vangelis presented his majestic work Mythodea at the Columns of Olympian Zeus in Athens. In this concert participated the world renowned sopranos Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman, an orchestra of 120 musicians, and 20 percussionists. Mythodea was chosen by NASA as the music that would accompany the space mission 2001: A Mars Odyssey.
In 2003, he decided to reveal another talent of his, in painting; he exhibited 70 of his paintings during the Valencia Biennale in Spain. After the success of the exhibition Vangelis Pintura, his works are exhibited in various galleries around the world. Finally, on 11 December 2011, Vangelis was asked by the Cultural Village of Qatar to create and compose the music for the inauguration ceremony of its ampitheatre. At the event, many world leaders were invited, as well as officials participating at the 4th Forum of the Cultural Alliance of the United Nations.