Greek composer Vangelis, best known for his epic theme music to the Academy Award-winning movie 'Chariots of Fire' in 1981, began his musical journey at a very young age, playing the piano and composing original music from the age of four. His first band, The Forminx, were popular in their native Greece but failed to win over the rest of the world. Aphrodite's Child followed and the band relocated to Paris in an attempt to further their career. Their first single 'Rain and Tears' was a big hit across Europe and their first two albums sold a combined 20 million copies. After their third album '666', which is often quoted as being one of the best ever progressive rock albums, tensions developed in the band and they decided to go their separate ways. Vangelis began focusing on his writing, composing for several Greek films and documentaries as well as wildlife films for French film-maker Frédéric Rossif. He moved to London where he signed with RCA Records and began recording a series of solo electronic albums including 'Heaven and Hell', 'Spiral', 'Beaubourg' and 'China'. After 'Chariots of Fire' Vangelis composed many more film scores including 'Blade Runner', 'The Bounty' and '1492: Conquest of Paradise'. He released his first collaborative album with Yes front man Jon Anderson titled 'Jon and Vangelis' and continued to create grand, anthemic compositions through the 1990s and 2000s, including the 2002 World Cup theme and the score for the 2004 Oliver Stone movie 'Alexander'. In 2014 he composed three short pieces to commemorate the landing of the Philae spacecraft on Comet 67P. These pieces, 'Arrival', 'Rosetta's Waltz' and 'Philae's Journey', were released online with accompanying images from the mission. He also composed a piece of music for Professor Stephen Hawking's memorial service in 2018 which was beamed up to the nearest black hole in honour of Hawking's work. In 2018 he also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Thessaly.
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