Acclaimed Greek composer Vangelis cremated in Paris

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Internationally acclaimed Greek composer Vangelis Papathanassiou, 79, was cremated at a simple ceremony at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the legal office representing him said on Friday.

The cremation on Friday was preceded by a civil funeral service at 13:30.

Vangelis was born near the city of Volos in Greece in 1943. He began his music career as a self-taught artist, but later studied classical music, painting and film directing at the Fine Arts Academy in Athens.
He formed his first group, 'Forminx', in 1960. After moving to Paris in 1968 he formed the group 'Aphrodite's Child' with another artist that was also destined to become an international star, Demis Roussos.

In 1975 he moved to London, where he set up the cutting-edge 'Nemo' studios, and a little later released his first music collection 'Heaven & Hell'.

Film soundtracks were a big part of his prolific career, winning him an Oscars Academy Award in 1982 for Hugh Hudson's 'Chariots of Fire'. He also scored the soundtracks for Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner' (1982), Roman Polanski's 'Bitter Moon' (1992), and Oliver Stone's 'Alexander' (2004), among many others.

Vangelis also composed music for NASA's space missions, in 2001 and again in 2013. He was awarded NASA's Exceptional Public Service Medal in 2003, and the title of Knight of the Order of Honor (Ordre National de la Légion d'honneur) of the French Republic in 2001.