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Yanni

Of the artists who rose to popularity as part of the new age music boom of the 1980s and '90s, few (if any) enjoyed greater or more lasting success than Yanni. Composing and performing instrumental music with a pronounced sense of drama, dynamics, and romanticism, Yanni broke through to a significantly larger audience than his peers, thanks to adult alternative radio airplay and a commanding performance style that attracted fans through frequent appearances on public television as well as world-wide concert tours.

Yanni was born Yiannis Chryssomalis on November 14, 1954 on the Greek island of Kalamata. He displayed a talent for a music at a young age, playing piano at the age of six, but rather than enroll him in music school, his parents encouraged their son to follow his own muse and learn the instrument at his own pace and in his own way. In 1972, Yanni traveled to Minnesota to attend college, and while he majored in psychology, he didn't walk away from music, playing in a local rock band and continuing his personal study of piano and other keyboard instruments. In 1977, after receiving his degree, Yanni joined a Minneapolis-based rock group called Chameleon, who toured regionally and cut several self-released albums, but in 1980, he began striking out on his own, recording and releasing an album of his own material, Optimystique. In 1984, Yanni signed a deal with Atlantic Records, who re-released the privately issued Optimystique; his deal with Atlantic proved short-lived, but the album attracted the attention of the noted independent label Private Music, who released Yanni's second album, Keys to Imagination, in 1986. (They would also reissue Optimystique a few years later.) Yanni relocated to Los Angeles, where he began composing film scores as well as recording as a solo artist, and in 1987, after releasing his third album, Out of Silence, he set out on his first major concert tour; the band included John Tesh on keyboards and former Chameleon drummer Charlie Adams. In 1990, after the release of Reflections of Passion, Yanni performed a special concert with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, a preview of the large-scale events he would stage in the future.

In 1992, the album Dare to Dream earned Yanni his first Grammy nomination, and his music began popping up in television commercials and during coverage of sporting events, bringing his compositions to a new audience. His concert tours became larger and more spectacular as his fan base grew, and in the fall of 1993, in support of the album In My Time, he performed a special show at the Herod Atticus Theater in Athens, Greece, a venue that was over 2,000 years old. The concert was recorded and videotaped, and the subsequent Yanni Live at the Acropolis album and home video became major successes, selling over seven million copies worldwide and becoming a fixture on public television broadcasts in the United States. The success of Live at the Acropolis led to Yanni staging prestigious events at London's Royal Albert Hall and major venues around the globe, as well as special concerts at the Taj Mahal in India and the Forbidden City in China, both in 1997 (material from the two shows appeared on the album Tribute). In both cases, Yanni was the first Western artist permitted to perform at these historic landmarks. After concluding a world tour in 1998, Yanni took a well-deserved vacation for two years and relocated to the East Coast; his 2000 studio album If I Could Tell You offered a more personal and intimate sound from the composer (it was also his first album for Virgin Records), and he explored world music sounds on 2003's Ethnicity. In 2009, he launched his own label, Yanni-Wake Entertainment, in association with Disney, and released Yanni Voices, in which he collaborated with vocalists for the first time in his solo career, teaming with a handful of gifted newcomers. Yanni took his vocalists on the road for a Yanni Voices concert tour, and in 2010, he explored his interest in Latin music on the album Mexicanisimo. A new studio effort, Truth of Touch, followed in 2011 and proved Yanni's popularity had not waned, topping the Billboard new age chart and going on to become the biggest-selling new age album of that year. After extensive touring for the release, Yanni added another string to his bow by collaborating with some of the biggest names in vocal classical music on his next album, Inspirato. On the album, released in 2014, the likes of Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Russell Watson, Vittorio Grigolo, Rolando Villazón, and Katherine Jenkins added operatic vocals to a selection of re-recordings of classic inspirational tracks from Yanni's back catalog. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

The article says Yanni was born on the Greek island of Kalamata. Kalamata is not an island (though it does have the atmosphere of the islands). Kalamata is a provincial capital in the very south of Greece on the mainland.
Happiness is... Yanni
;)
AWESOME COOL CALMING EPIC AWESOME wait did I say awesome twice
There is so much hatred, destruction, and just plain ugliness in our world today, it makes me doubtful of our future on this planet. But when I hear Yanni and the beauty that just one man can create it gives me hope for mankind.
I love him he was my inspiration to start playing piano when I was 9 years old ,,,now I'm a producer my self
Just saw him at the Nokia Theatre in LA this past Friday and it was amazing. One thing I will tell you is that it's not just Yanni. His musicians are incredible. All of them make Yanni.
The song portrays a message that love can be found anywhere if you simply look
jddickens17
I've never heard any Yanni music I didn't love. I can listen all day.
cindysham8
Loved him since the 80s, After the Sunrise was the song I walked down the aisle to the day I married my husband.
hamilam
very relaxing music
nikobobich
yanni your an amazing musican
kretan182
I went to his concert last night! It was great. I love Yianni.
My parents would play his music for me when I was a toddler for naptime and to this day nothing relaxs me more. : )
when people see me, as the rough intimidating man amongst men, dazed looks and confusion are the responses I get when I say I love Yanni yes even cage fighters find strength and peace in the music that envelopes you. I would cherish an opportunity to sit front row at one of his concerts to hear the master at work
Live at the Acropolis is awesome. It's so beautiful it hurts!
I love his music it takes me into a different realm, and it just feels good.
I discovered Yanni's album Keys to Imagination many years ago in one of those gifts for those who have everything stores and have been a fan ever since. I'm 62 and have attended many concerts through the years from Led Zepplin to the Royal Philharmonic . I have to say to see Yanni perform live was probably the greatest concert I had ever witnessed. Dance with a Stranger has always been my favorite piece.
darlenebayne
Yanni's music is just beautiful, relaxing and enjoyable. It does not matter how are you feeling at the moment you are listening to his compositions , he just balances your emotions. That is something that not all artists can do. I love Yanni.
And this kind of music<3
I like cookies and ice cream
Hi��
I've live Yanni since the 90's! He will always be tops in my book! So soothing.
I don't need to take bipolar medicine. I just need to listen to yanni and other pianist!
suzan_philli p s
Brilliant!
sherldine
VERY RELAXING SOUNDS
sherldine
I have finally found a artist that has the kind music I can relax and study
Beautiful real music. A fan from his earliest days.
1482098294
When i said simplicity I meant for the soul, not that the chords are simple...gue s s it was the wrong wording but thanks for the correction buddy
siplicity? if you find yanni's music simple in nature, you need youre hearing checked. seriously. one of the things i love about it is the complexity.
1482098294
Beauty and simplicity
Love me some Yanni! That is the music that I listen to when I am on the road. Very relaxing.
chrisd619
I like yanni, but why is he in my c418 music?
Clearly his prettiest composition, sometimes bringing me to tears.
d3digit
Omuj uj
What does extreme vamping mean..pertai n i n g to Yanni??
Attraction from the Album Live at the Acropolis AAAHHHH Beautiful
"Until the Last Monent" love this one!!!
Magical is the way to describe it…this is music from the Heavens <3 <3
Absolutely love Yanni. I've been to a few of his concerts and what a treat they were.
loadmanrr
Yanni always gives me goosebumps. So talented with awesome muscians!!
Now I've got Yannimania~A G A I N ! ! ! :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
like all Yanni's music
accountants3
I love listening to Yanni's music! I saw him in concert in Houston, Texas probably about 12-15 years ago. Such a stunning performance. So many talented musicians, so many different and strange instruments. Just mersmerizing !
accountants3
He was 58 at his last birthday...N o v e m b e r 14, 1954, as stated in the bio above.
Yanni is magical:)
I have been listening to Yanni for a long time and I have attended several of his concerts. Again, the album cover suggests that this is the John Tesh Project performing a piece created by Yanni. Not sure why Pandora puts in the biography the way they do but John Tesh is an excellent pianist in his own right and I love listening to them both.
YANNI is not just an entertainer. YANNI is a creator of magical moments which captivate, embrace and balance your equilibrium. Plus, there is joyfulness in his music. A joyfulness which can elevate your sad feelings into peacefulness . I appreciate the artistry of YANNI. MAX-ism
Yanni's music is so beautiful and calming. He's absolutely wonderful in concert too!
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