Childhood (1942-1963)


Vangelis' real name is Evangelos Oddysey Papathanasiou. He was born in Agria, 8 kilometer from Volos, Greece, March 29th 1943. Volos is a harbour-town, the capital of Magnesia, which is 325 kilometers North West of Athens. He has one brother, Niko.

Map of Greece

Map of Greece


At an early age, young Vangelis and his family moved to Athens, where Evangelos grew up. Their father, named Ulysses (1900-1982), was a painter and their mother was a singer. An aunt was a pianist. Vangelis’ musical talent most likely came:


“…from my mothers side. (…) But not in a professional way. They never performed. I saw music as a science, rather than an artform."


He used to try out everything he could find to hear what sound it could make. In the house there was a grandpiano. He did like to try all the sounds it could make, not only in the usual way. In 1949, he gave his very first concert in front of 2000 spectators. His parents tried to make him take music lessons. But he ended-up completely self-taught.


“I have always felt that you should not borrow knowledge from others because personal experience and development are of utmost significance".


In 2002 he said about composing:


"I compose from nothing. (...) I am trying to be as much objective as a human being can be. Maybe that sounds a bit odd, but when I'm composing I see nothing. (...) As long as I remember my contact of the understanding of the world was sound. I couldn't say what kind of object it is if I couldn't touch it and hit it to hear the sound. Human beings are always trying to produce instruments and call it instruments in order to produce a sound, that is already in nature."

Vangelis as a kid, playing the piano

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