The music has an indomitable influence on human life. And the musician can make an immense impact on his listeners. Yanni is one who has by far captivated and enthralled billions of people across the world.
Yanni is a legend. Yanni is a phenomenon. He blazed new trails in music. By virtue of a magical spell, he won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people cutting across all barriers of life. It is a common sight that people, in the high spirit of ecstasy, enthusiasm and effervescence, consistently give him standing ovation whenever he makes his majestic presence felt on the central-stage of the concert with the amazing performance. Without exaggeration, one could assess that his music mesmerizes large multitudes. Besides being a musical genius, Yanni is a great humanist, apt to be credited as a philanthropist. No wonder, a multi-dimensional personality, he has earned an all-time record in terms of global recognition, media coverage, goodwill and credibility.
It will be relevant and opportune to have a glimpse of his biography. Yanni was born in 1954 to Sotiri and Felitsa Chryssomallis as the second of the three children. Grown up in the background of a typical Greek life, provided by parents, Yanni developed a spark on music from the very childhood. He had his first experiment with piano, but did not stick to go by conventional studies on that. Though he proved his mettle in swimming at the age of 14, he essentially chose to explore the musical sphere and make his own contribution to world humanity. It is the Greek life that inspired him to compose songs such as “Santorini”, “Nostalgia” and “Acroyali”.
Having arrived in the US in 1972 aimed at attending the University of Minnesota, Yanni, between studies, played in local rock-and-roll bands and started developing his personal musical style using piano and electronic keyboards to create new sounds. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1976, he resolved to devote entirely on music and make it his vocation. Yanni played keyboards for Chameleon, a rock-and-roll band that became well-known in the Twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Spurred by their success, Chameleon began to tour regionally across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago, Iowa and the Dakotas. They also produced two albums independently. Yanni realized that his future would be in music, and used his experience with electronic keyboards to start creating his own compositions. Thus his first solo album was independently released in 1980. In the course of his productive and busy time, he single-handedly pursed his passion for creating music, exploring the worlds of electronic music, new sounds, instruments and compositions, subsequently releasing two albums. Now he moved to Hollywood, the hub of film industry, where he recorded four film scores and released three more albums. In 1990, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra accompanied Yanni in concert, adding a new dimension to his unique style.
Adding new feathers in his cap of success, the album “In Celebration of Life” was released in 1991, “Dare to Dream” in 1992, and “In My Time” in 1993 Meanwhile, he received Grammy nominations for ”Dare to Dream” and “In My time”, and over a million copies of collection sold the world over. The tour programmes won larger number of fans. He added an entire symphony orchestra. Yanni’s international performance tour presenting music live in eminent venues like Toji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, Royal Albert Hall in London, and the Acropolis in Greece, which was filmed and broadcast in the US on PBS. Yanni has since become one of the top all-time fund-raisers, and around the world where it was seen in 65 countries by half a billion viewers.
Yanni became the first Western artist to successfully perform at both the Taj Mahal in India and the Forbidden City in China, overcoming difficult obstacles, the biggest challenge of his career. In conjunction with his performance, Yanni donated the proceeds from the show to help preserve the Taj Mahal. In tandem with the release of “Tribute” album in 1997, he embarked on his record-breaking nine-month 100 + city tour, the top-selling tour during the first half of 1998. His first studio album in seven years, “If I Could Tell You” followed in 2000. In February, 2003, he released “Ethnicity”, his 13th album, incorporating more exotic textures. The album featured an array of different instruments, from an Australian didgeridoo, a Celtic violin, and Armenian duduk to an Indian tabla, as well as a variety of human voices in the form of solo arias, group chants and even lyrics. The same year saw the publication of his Miramax Books autobiography, “Yanni in Words”, a New York Times best seller. Then followed his North American tour in November, 2006.
The multi-Grammy nominated performer is talking about Yanni-Wake Entertainment, an exciting enterprise, which will not only continue to create superb music, but also it will develop talented new artists, compose music for films and be involved in move and TV production. His more recent tour, Yanni Voices: Live in Concert in 2009 was a grand success. The tour was nominated for the prestigious Lunas del Auditorio Award. On his new direction, Yanni says: “I am looking for the next stage of my evolution. Having dedicated so many years to this art, I feel an obligation to maintain it, or at least keep developing myself. There are no rules. It is so exciting. And we are going to surprise people. Just watch. To make things happen in life, you have to have faith and passion. Right now is the best time of my life” In his long and remarkable career, Yanni has proved to have been blessed with both faith and passion in abundance.
Yanni has been permitted to perform at such world landmarks as the Athens Herodion Theatre of the Acropolis of Athens (Greece), the Taj Mahal (Agra, India), the Forbidden City (Beijing, China), the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building; Dubai, United Arab Emirates),the Kremlin (Moscow, Russia),and the Castillo San Felipe del Morro (Fort San Felipe del Morro) (UNESCO Heritage Site, in San Juan, Puerto Rico).
During Yanni's October 2011 tour of China, Yanni became the first Western artist to be invited to adopt a giant panda (bear) at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a privilege... usually reserved for countries rather than personalities." "Officials from the research base invited the musician to adopt the animal, saying their decision was made from the inspiration and harmony that derives from his music." Yanni named the panda "Santorini," also the name of a Greek island, explaining that the Greek word irini means 'peace'."