“I have always been interested in environmental issues, the natural life and the cultural environment. “
Renowned today as a pioneer in electronic music, Vangelis, without formal training, began playing piano at the age of four and by age six was giving public performances of his own compositions – his natural gift coming from a place he calls memory – a place he says we can all tap into if we can only remember.
With over forty album releases, fifteen movie/TV soundtracks, two Covent Garden ballets, four ancient Greek plays and five major audio/visual spectaculars to his credit, Vangelis is probably best known for his scores for CHARIOTS OF FIRE of Hugh Hudson (for which he won an Academy Award – Oscar), 1492 – CONQUEST OF PARADISE, Ridley Scott’s BLADE RUNNER, Koreyoshi Kurahara’s ANTARCTICA, Roman Polanski’s BITTER MOON, Costa Gavras’ MISSING, Oliver Stone’s ALEXANDER and Iannis Smaragdis’ CAVAFY and EL GRECO.
In addition to his Oscar, Vangelis has received an Echo, Golden Lion, Max Steiner, IFPI and other awards throughout his career, while France has bestowed upon him their most prestigious titles: Chevalier de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier de la Légion d’ Honneur and NASA has presented him with their Public Service Medal.
Also, the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory named a small planet Vangelis in his honour, due to the international impact and appreciation of his work as well as his rapport with the Universe.
The same lifelong devotion and dedication Vangelis has for his music has always been as evident in his visual art. But it was not until recently that he consented to having it shown to the public. He has now had ten major exhibitions of his paintings in leading art museums around the world.
Vangelis has also been named Honorary Doctor/Professor Emeritus for his contribution to culture by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and by the University of Patras, Greece, Honorary Doctor/Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Physics.
The recently released documentary DVD about Vangelis ‘Vangelis and the Journey to Ithaka’ is available to buy here.
To Vangelis, music and art are sacred, basic forces of the universe, their purpose to elevate, inspire and to heal human kind. This is Vangelis’ mission, this and his desire to awaken in all of us, perhaps that place called memory.