Vangelis (Greek composer of electronic, new age and classical)
Legal name: Ευάγγελος Οδυσσέας Παπαθανασίου
Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (Greek: Ευάγγελος Οδυσσέας Παπαθανασίου [evˈaɲɟelos oðiˈseas papaθanaˈsiu]; born 29 March 1943), known professionally as Vangelis (Greek: Βαγγέλης [vaɲˈɟelis]; English pronunciation: /væŋˈɡɛlᵻs/), is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Antarctica, Blade Runner, Missing, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and Alexander, and the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.
After having taken piano lessons from renowned Greek composer Aristotelis Koundouroff, Vangelis began his professional musical career working with several popular bands of the 1960s such as the Forminx and Aphrodite's Child, with the latter's album 666 going on to be recognized as a psychedelic classic. Throughout the 1970s, Vangelis composed music scores for several animal documentaries, including L'Apocalypse des Animaux, La Fête sauvage and Opéra sauvage; the success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream. In the early 1980s, Vangelis formed a musical partnership with Jon Anderson, the lead singer of progressive rock band Yes, and the duo went on to release several albums together as Jon & Vangelis.
In 1981, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. The soundtrack's single, the film's "Titles" theme, also reached the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and was used as the background music at the London 2012 Olympics winners' medal presentation ceremonies.
Having had a career in music spanning over 50 years and having composed and performed more than 52 albums, Vangelis is considered to be one of the most important figures in the history of electronic music.