|

Click here to expand and collapse the player

Yanni

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (72 ratings)
  • Born: Kalamata, Greece
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s
  • Yanni

  • Yanni

Albums

Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

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.

Wikipedia:

For other uses, see Yanni (disambiguation).

Yiannis Chryssomallis (Greek: Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης, Giánnis Chrysomállis; born November 14, 1954), known professionally as Yanni (/ˈɑː/ YAH-nee), is a Greek pianist, keyboardist, composer, and music producer who has spent his adult life in the United States.

Yanni continues to use the musical shorthand that he developed as a child, blending jazz, classical, soft rock, and world music to create predominantly instrumental works. As this genre of music was not well suited for commercial pop radio and music television, Yanni achieved international recognition by producing concerts at historic monuments and by producing videos that were broadcast on public television. His breakthrough concert, Yanni Live at the Acropolis, yielded the second best-selling music video of all time. Additional historic sites for Yanni's concerts have included India's Taj Mahal, China's Forbidden City, the United Arab Emirates' Burj Khalifa, Russia's Kremlin, Puerto Rico's El Morro castle, Lebanon's ancient city of Byblos and Tunisia's Roman Theatre of Carthage.

At least fourteen of Yanni's albums have peaked at No. 1 in Billboard's "Top New Age Album" category, and two albums (Dare to Dream and In My Time) received Grammy Award nominations. Through late 2011, Yanni had performed live in concert before more than two million people in more than 20 countries around the world, and has accumulated more than 35 platinum and gold albums globally, with sales totaling over 20 million copies. A longtime fundraiser for public television, Yanni's compositions have been used on commercial television programs, especially for sporting events. He has written film scores and the music for an award-winning British Airways television commercial.

Yanni has employed musicians of various nationalities and has incorporated a variety of exotic instruments to create music that has been called an eclectic fusion of ethnic sounds. Influenced by his encounters with cultures around the world, his music is said to reflect his “one world, one people” philosophy.

^ Cite error: The named reference AllMusicBio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference CourierJournal20120426 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Courant19920426 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ChicagoTrib19980215 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19881202 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference HartfordCourant19950625 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference AutobiographyPP10and17 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference VOAnews20030615 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference HellenismYanniBio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference AugustaChron20120522 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes20001024 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference MontrealGazette20120614 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference emirates247-20110921 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Kremlin20111101 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ElMorro was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference OrientLeJour20130702 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LeconomisteMaghrebin20140723 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference allmusicAlbumPeak was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference VOAnews20120123 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference TheNationThailand20111013 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference SavannahNow20120526 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19930613 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference GolfDigest20140612 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ChanVillager20120428 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Early life[edit]

Yanni was born November 14, 1954 in Kalamata, Greece, the son of a banker and homemaker. He displayed musical talent at a young age, playing piano at the age of 6. His parents encouraged him to learn at his own pace and in his own way, without formal music training. The self-taught musician continues to use the "musical shorthand" that he developed as a child, rather than employing traditional musical notation.

Yanni set a Greek national record in the 50-meter freestyle swimming competition at age 14.

In November 1972, Yanni moved from Greece to the United States to attend the University of Minnesota beginning in January 1973, majoring in psychology. For a time he earned money by washing dishes at the student union. Yanni later explained that learning English forced him to read each paragraph several times in what he called a slow and frustrating process, but which helped him memorize the material and do well on tests. He received a B.A. degree in psychology in 1976.

During his time as a student, Yanni played in a local rock band and continued to study piano and other keyboard instruments. Upon graduating, when he dedicated himself exclusively to music for one full year and found he was the happiest he had ever been, he said he decided music would be his life's work.

^ Cite error: The named reference AllMusicBio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference WintersReFather was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference VOAnews20030615 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference HellenismYanniBio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference VOAnews20120123 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference FtWayne20040311 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference UMinnSpeech40040506 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Contents

Music career1.1 1980s to early 1990s: Emergence and recognition1.2 1990s: Acropolis, world concerts, exhaustion and renewal1.3 2000s to 2010: After a hiatus, new perspectives1.4 2010s: New sound designs, and a return to world tours

Music career[edit]

In 1977 Yanni joined the Minneapolis-based rock group Chameleon, working with its founder, drummer Charlie Adams. After leaving the band, Yanni moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of movie soundtrack work. While in Minneapolis, he also worked closely at times with choreographer Loyce Houlton to provide music for various dance works produced by the Minnesota Dance Theatre.

1980s to early 1990s: Emergence and recognition[edit]

In 1980 Yanni recorded his first album Optimystique, which Atlantic Records re-released in 1984 and Private Music re-released in 1989.

Yanni formed a band in 1987 and began to tour in 1988 with an ensemble including pianist/singer John Tesh and drummer Charlie Adams, promoting his early albums Keys to Imagination, Out of Silence, and Chameleon Days. A highlight of the tour was a performance with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra that elicited a positive review, considered seminal to Yanni's public recognition, from a Dallas Times Herald critic. Yanni's emergence was said to be "timed perfectly" with the growing popularity of contemporary instrumental music.

Yanni gained visibility as the result of his November 1990 appearances in People magazine and on The Oprah Winfrey Show with actress Linda Evans, with whom he had been in a relationship since 1989. However, high-visibility appearances on public television, best-selling records and videos, and overflow concerts earned him recognition beyond his relationship with Evans.

Dare to Dream, released in 1992, was Yanni’s first Grammy-nominated album. It included "Aria," a song based on Léo Delibes' The Flower Duet (Lakmé, 1883) and popularized by an award-winning British Airways commercial. A second Grammy-nominated album, In My Time, followed in 1993.

1990s: Acropolis, world concerts, exhaustion and renewal[edit]

Yanni's breakthrough concert, Yanni Live at the Acropolis, was filmed in September 1993 at the 2,000-year-old Herodes Atticus Theater at the Acropolis of Athens, an album and VHS being released in 1994. Acropolis was Yanni’s first live album, and used his core band with a full sixty piece orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra which was arranged and conducted by Iranian-American musician Shahrdad Rohani.

Without financial backing, Yanni risked $2 million of his personal fortune in the Acropolis production in a strategy to boost his artistic profile and open new markets for his music. The resulting video was broadcast on PBS and became one of its most popular programs ever, seen in 65 countries by half a billion people. It became the second best-selling music video of all time (after Michael Jackson's Thriller), selling more than 7 million copies worldwide.

In March 1997, Yanni became one of the few Western artists permitted to perform and record at the Taj Mahal in India. Yanni followed in May 1997 with performances at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, becoming the first Western artist in modern times permitted to perform at the historic site. These two events formed the live album and video, Tribute, released in November 1997.

After negotiating the demands of gaining permission to perform at the Taj Mahal and Forbidden City in 1997, breaking up with Linda Evans in early 1998, and completing a long world tour later in 1998, Yanni halted his music career. Yanni later related that he had become depressed, and returned to Greece to live with his parents for three months before traveling the world. He didn't do an interview for two years, later explaining, "I traveled. I wanted to see other people's ideas of life, get out of the American dream."

In 1999 Yanni released his compilation project, a five CD box set of called The Private Years which also featured a DVD of his concert film Yanni Live at the Acropolis.

2000s to 2010: After a hiatus, new perspectives[edit]

In 2000, after the two-year hiatus, Yanni released If I Could Tell You, his first studio album in seven years. The album sold 55,000 copies in its first week and landed at No. 20 on the Billboard charts, his highest debut to date. Yanni described the album as more of an even-tempered "listening" album, less dramatic than the live concert albums Live at the Acropolis or Tribute. He explained that he himself created all of the album's sounds, including apparent vocalizations, through the manipulation of sound in his studio.

The music in Yanni's 2003 album Ethnicity represented many of the world's cultures, Yanni saying it uses ethnicity to reflect the color and beauty of a multicultural society. The album was released near the publication date of Yanni's autobiography, Yanni in Words. On October 23, 2003, Yanni performed a keyboard instrumental version of The Star-Spangled Banner before Game 5 of the 2003 World Series.

For the first time in his career, Yanni brought vocalists to the forefront in the Ric Wake collaboration Yanni Voices, the artist's first studio album in six years. PBS broadcast video of a November 2008 Voices Acapulco concert weeks before the album's March 24, 2009 release by Walt Disney Records' Disney Pearl Imprint, the album release preceding a tour produced by Pearl's Buena Vista Concerts division.

The album Yanni Mexicanisimo, released in November of Mexico's bicentennial year 2010, was a tribute to that country through Yanni's collaborative interpretation of its folk music. It involved collaboration with singer-songwriter Pepe Aguilar and singer-actress Lucero.

2010s: New sound designs, and a return to world tours[edit]

The Truth of Touch album was released in February 2011, Yanni's first studio album of new material since Ethnicity eight years earlier. Truth of Touch's varied content reflected contemporary instrumental, electronic, and cinematic influences, and crossed over into popular, new age, and world music. Though Yanni said that Truth of Touch was started by experimenting with new sound designs, Allmusic's James Christopher Monger said that the album shows Yanni returning to his instrumental roots, and should appeal to fans of his music from the mid-1990s. Three of fifteen tracks on the predominantly instrumental album included vocals from respective Yanni Voices vocalists.

In April 2012, Yanni released the Yanni Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico live album CD and DVD which were recorded and filmed at two outdoor concerts on December 16 and 17, 2011 on the grounds of the Castillo (Fort) San Felipe del Morro ("El Morro"), a UNESCO World Heritage Site in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The recorded concerts were broadcast on PBS beginning in March 2012, the production constituting Yanni's tenth collaboration with that organization.

Yanni performed in China in the February 9, 2013, CCTV Spring Festival Gala (annual audience 700 million) with Chinese zither artist Chang Jing in what was the first year that CCTV had invited foreign artists to perform.

Yanni's 2010-2014 tours included new vocalists, distinct from the 2008–2009 Yanni Voices vocalists, though the setlists remained predominantly instrumental.

In March 2014, Yanni released his seventeenth studio album, Inspirato, a collaboration with operatic tenor Plácido Domingo and producer Ric Wake that, like Yanni Voices five years earlier, highlighted vocal performances. In Inspirato, distinguished operatic vocalists performed remakes of songs that Yanni had previously released over his career, the songs' titles and lyrics being predominantly in the Italian language.

In the 2010s, Yanni’s international tours included performances in (alphabetically) Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, Oman, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States (including Puerto Rico).

^ Cite error: The named reference AllMusicBio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference VOAnews20120123 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LehighMorningCall20120622 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19930613 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference EntWeekly19910118 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference People19901126 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes20001024 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19950527 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ChicagoTrib19980215 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference VOAnews20030615 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference AllmusicAcropolis was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Dallafar, Arlene (2001). Making it in America: A Sourcebook on Eminent Ethnic Americans. Santa Barbara, California: ABC - CLIO. p. 320. ISBN 9781576070987. ^ Cite error: The named reference 9news20120521 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference TheNationThailand20111013 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19950530 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Ryan, Joal. "Soul Mates Yanni and Linda Evans Uncouple". Eonline.com. Retrieved Aug 21, 2014. ^ Cite error: The named reference BandNinterview2000 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Terra20070404 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Gleeman20031024 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Billboard.2FDisney20081114 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference UnionRadio20101018 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ColumbusDispatch401205 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference NewAgeMusicWorld20110124 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference MontrealGazette20120614 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference AllmusicTruthOfTouch was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference KPBS20120604 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference WantChinaTimes20130201 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ChinaDaily20130208 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference CNTV20130209 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference CorreioBrazil20100923 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference AllmusicInspirato was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference TourDateArchives was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Contents

Influences, music and concerts1.1 Musical Influences1.2 Music genres distinguished from the "New Age" spiritual movement1.3 Unconventional career track1.4 Music1.5 Concerts

Influences, music and concerts[edit]

Musical Influences[edit]

From childhood, Yanni accepted a wide variety of musical styles, listening to radio stations from Northern Africa, Arab countries, and Europe. He observed that "there were no rock stations or classical stations--each station would just play everything." Yanni's music has been said to reflect his encounters with cultures around the world and embody his philosophy of “one world, one people.” In this vein, Booth Newspapers' Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk perceived the eclectic inspirations of Yanni's music to be an element of his success: Yanni's "Middle Eastern and Oriental scales and mixed meters sound just exotic enough to entice his middle-of-the-road fans, but not so authentic as to mystify folks who grew up with a backbeat, so you can’t lose it," adding that certain songs "leave you with a sense that you’ve just heard a bit of a steel drum or a Greek bouzouki or a Japanese koto or possibly all three."

Yanni's musical influences include music from Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as classical, rock and roll, and electronic music. Yanni explained that the 1970s, with its new technology and electronic instruments, were particularly influential at that stage in his career, and that even recently his Truth Of Touch album (2011) was started by experimenting with new sound designs. Having been exposed to classical music very early in life—listening to Bach at age 8—he counts several classical pianists and composers among his influences, citing Beethoven as a favorite and Chopin as "No. 2 favorite." Yanni mentioned being influenced not only by classical composers like Mozart and Bach, but also rock and roll bands such as Led Zeppelin, the People!, and Black Sabbath.

Yanni explained that "the most influence I’ve ever had from music was doing (soundtracks for) movies, ... mostly instrumental music," mentioning his love for the work of Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams. The Augusta Chronicle's Kelly Jasper noted that most of Yanni's music is instrumental, indicating that Yanni surmised that the lack of lyrics is what allowed his music to become popular internationally. Yanni went on to say, "There are no lyrics in my music for the most part, so the whole message is transmitted through the rhythm, melody, and sounds, and I think that has to do with crossing all the borders and being able to go to different countries.” "It is very difficult, if not impossible, to lie with instrumental music because it deals in emotions only." He has also said that words operate in a different area of the brain, and lyrics "tend to put a song into a box."

However, Yanni performed with four vocalists in the forefront in Yanni Voices (2008-2009), and performed with two vocalists on tours (2010-2012) and in the Yanni Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico concerts (December 2011) and CD/DVD (2012). In late 2011 Yanni remarked that he tends to prefer instrumental music "because it's more open, but the human voice too can be the most expressive instrument known to man. There is power to it." Referring to his creative experiences on the 2009 Voices project, Yanni explained that "while most of the music I write is instrumental, I love to use the human voice as another instrument."

Music genres distinguished from the "New Age" spiritual movement[edit]

"These lines really don't exist. They are made up—completely—and they perpetuate this illusion that somehow we're all different from each other. I think the world would be a much better place if some day, we stopped pretending that these lines exist and we concentrated on our similarities rather than our differences."

—Concert's closing comments, Yanni Live at the Acropolis, in September 1993

While Yanni has said New Age is "a spiritual definition more than a musical definition," his music has been said to be "adopted by" the New Age movement as it gained mainstream momentum. His music is also called contemporary instrumental and has been described as "an instrumental blend of fusion-jazz, world music, classical, and soft rock." However, at least as early as 1988, Yanni was said to shun labels such as "Greek" and "New Age," emphasizing that "when someone says new age music, I think of something that you put on in the background while you're vacuuming the house. I don't want to relax the audience; I want to engage them in the music, get them interested." Distinguishing his work from what others have called ambient mood music, Yanni pointed out in 1994: "New Age implies a more subdued, more relaxed music than what I do. My music can be very rhythmic, very energetic, even very ethnic."

In 2012, Yanni remarked that he has never liked putting art into categories or assigning labels, adding that he always composed music "to honestly reflect the lessons learned and the experiences I have shared throughout my life." For example, Yanni's university study of psychology influenced his music: “When I create music, it is a reflection of my soul, my experiences in life and my relationships with other people and cultures. Psychology, and understanding who we are as people in this world, is present in almost every creative thought I have."

Unconventional career track[edit]

The genre of Yanni's music made it unsuitable for most commercial radio or for music television. In 2012 Yanni expressed the importance of PBS to his career, saying that the network "always allowed me to present my music without any censorship or influence, and encouraged me to be the artist that I am," and had been "a great part of my career for over 20 years."

Yanni took an unconventional path to recognition, for example, by risking his personal fortune to fund historic-monument events such as his 1993 Acropolis concerts, by producing specials on public television, by creating alone in his home-built studio, and by performing many of his own production duties—thus by-passing the conventional music industry. In 2000, The Los Angeles Times' Don Heckman wrote that Yanni was "a living metaphor for Success on Your Own Terms, the dream of every American with an idea that is either ridiculed or ignored."

Music[edit]

In an early-career review in the Dallas Times Herald in the late 1980s, Yanni's concert with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was described as "exhilarating, moving and inspiring." In 1995, The Los Angeles Times' Don Heckman wrote that Yanni's music is "based on sweeping romantic melodies underscored with energetic Mediterranean rhythms." More analytically, the Hartford Courant's Steve Metcalf "deconstructed" Yanni's music as being "from a harmonic standpoint, constructed of materials found in a lot of late-19th, early 20th century classical music. It is essentially tonal, tinged with mild whiffs of dissonance here and there, sometimes rhythmically frisky, graspable on first listening, and self-evidently mood-inducing. There are two basic moods to Yanni music: struttingly heroic with martial overtones, and dreamily contemplative. ... A kind of peaceful, easy-feeling link between pop music and classical music."

More recently, Allmusic's Mark Deming characterized Yanni's compositions and performances as having "a pronounced sense of drama, dynamics, and romanticism," writing that Yanni has a "commanding performance style." In 2012 Howie Grapek remarked in The Palm Beach Post's PBPulse that "there are few modern-day composers with a unique sense of music and style which is truly their own. To compare new-age music with classic rock is a stretch, but for Yanni, it is possible. This Greek composer marries contemporary new-age spirituality with today’s pop attitudes and delivers a unique sound." Yanni has employed musicians of various nationalities, and has incorporated a variety of exotic instruments from around the world from an Australian didgeridoo to a Peruvian charango, to perform with his classical orchestra, rock rhythm section, and electronic keyboards. His music has been described as "an eclectic fusion of ethnic sounds, from Native American chants to African rhythms and Asian harmonies."

The Morning Call's John L. Moser wrote that "trends come and trends go," but that Yanni's music "seems to defy trends and... feels like it’s music for all time." Moser interviewed the composer, asking if he intentionally tries to create "something that’s going to last forever as opposed to something that’s just going to sell 1 million copies right away," Yanni replied that "There’s no way you can create art to last forever... so you can’t have that in your mind." Instead, describing his creative process, Yanni explained that his knowledge of music and instruments and his experience in different cultures is a "primordial soup that comes together and it shows itself and it appears. And it’s fluid. It’s effortless."

Yanni's popularity with the public and his success on public television have contrasted sharply with views of some critics. The more extreme criticisms have been paraphrased as characterizing Yanni as a "no-talent poseur" whose music has little intellectual weight, while his fans' opinions have been paraphrased as calling Yanni a "highly original artist whose profound spirituality has created a unique kind of music."

Continuing to use the "musical shorthand" that he developed as a child rather than employing traditional musical notation, Yanni hires someone to perform the tedious process of making conventional written charts for orchestra members. Even so, since music is an auditory domain, Yanni must train the musicians in what cannot be conveyed in that writing.

"Everything great that has ever happened to humanity has begun as a single thought in someone's mind. And if any one of us is capable of such a thought, then all of us have the same capacity and capability, because we're all the same."

—Concert's closing comments, Yanni Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico, in December 2011
Concerts[edit]

The Palm Beach Post's Howie Grapek remarked about an April 2012 performance that the show was not a one-man keyboard show, but spotlighted individual long solos showcasing the band members' talents, and that Yanni "loves giving them the opportunity to shine individually." Booth Newspapers' Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk commented that Yanni "has great sidemen – always has."

Yanni’s concerts are known for their lighting and other technical aspects. Yanni's longtime lighting designer remarked in 2013 that the lighting is critically timed to Yanni's music itself, accommodating its variety of time signatures, further observing that since Yanni plays mostly theatrical venues rather than arenas, the lighting can include subtle moves and color. The lighting also emphasizes band members' solos, as well as specific moments in the concerts.

Commenting on Yanni's "great lighting" on the stage and "plenty of reverb in the audience," Booth Newspapers' Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk remarked that a Yanni concert "can be an intoxicating experience."

^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19881202 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference SavannahNow20120526 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ChanVillager20120428 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference mLive20120508 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference MontrealGazette20120614 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LehighMorningCall20120622 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference AugustaChron20120522 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference BandNinterview2000 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference HellenismYanniBio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference TheNationThailand20111013 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Billboard.2FDisney20081114 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference CorreioBrazil20100923 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ArizonaRepublic20110711 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Courant19920426 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference CourierJournal20120426 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ChicagoTrib19980215 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19940227 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes20001024 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Musicilluminati20120716 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19930613 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19950527 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference HartfordCourant19950625 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference AllMusicBio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference PalmBeachPulse20120418 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference VOAnews20030615 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference QuadCityTimes20120503 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ProjectionLightsStaging201302 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Honors, awards and distinctions[edit]

In addition to performing at historic venues such as Royal Albert Hall (London; 1995 & 2014), Yanni has been permitted to perform at such world landmarks as the Acropolis of Athens (Greece; 1993), the Taj Mahal (Agra, India; 1997), the Forbidden City (Beijing, China; 1997), the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 2011), the Kremlin (Moscow, Russia; 2011), the Castillo San Felipe del Morro ("El Morro" UNESCO World Heritage Site, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, U.S. territory; 2011), the ancient city of Byblos (UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lebanon; 2013), and the Roman Theatre of Carthage (Tunis, Tunisia; 2014).

Rising in popularity with the new age music boom of the 1980s and 1990s, Yanni's music became more well known through adult alternative radio airplay, appearances on public television and in television commercials, as well as international music tours. Yanni's music has been used in television shows and televised sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Wide World of Sports, U.S. Open Tennis Championships, U.S. Open (golf), Tour de France, the World Figure Skating Championships and the Olympic Games. He wrote music for ABC's World News Now.

Yanni's "Acroyali/Standing in Motion" was determined to have the "Mozart effect" by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (April 2001) because the composition is similar to Mozart's K 448 in tempo, structure, melodic and harmonic consonance and predictability, characteristics thought to decrease seizure activity and to enhance spatial-temporal performance."

During Yanni's October 2011 tour of China, Yanni became the first Western artist to be invited to adopt a giant panda (bear) cub 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'."

In February 2013, Yanni and Celine Dion were the first non-Chinese artists invited to perform (separately) in China at the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, a CCTV televised event with an annual audience of 700 million.

Billboard named Yanni No. 5 "New Age Album Artist" of 2012. He was named to the same list in 2011 (ranked No. 1), 2010 (No. 4), 2009 (No. 3), 2007 (No. 4), and 2006 (No. 4).

Yanni's albums Dare to Dream (1992) and In My Time (1993) received Grammy Award nominations for Best New Age Album."

The PBS specials Yanni Live at the Acropolis and Tribute received Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Lighting Direction (Electronic) for a Drama Series, Variety Series, Miniseries, Movie or Special, in 1994 and 1998, respectively.

Fifteen Yanni albums peaked at No. 1 in Billboard's "Top New Age Album" category.

In addition to earning a B.A. in psychology in 1976 from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Yanni received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the same institution on May 6, 2004.

^ Cite error: The named reference NewAgeMusic20120229 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference emirates247-20110921 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Kremlin20111101 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ElMorro was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference OrientLeJour20130702 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LeconomisteMaghrebin20140723 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference AllMusicBio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference VOAnews20120123 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference LATimes19930613 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference GolfDigest20140612 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference Courant19920426 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference AllmusicAcropolis was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference EpilepsyOrgMozartEffect was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference reuters20111012 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference skynews20111012 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference MontrealGazette20120614 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference WantChinaTimes20130201 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ChinaDaily20130208 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference CNTV20130209 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference BillboardTopNewAgeArtist was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference EmmyLighting1994 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference EmmyLighting1998 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference allmusicAlbumPeak was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference ChanVillager20120428 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference UMinnSpeech40040506 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference StPaulPioneer20040508 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Charitable activities[edit]

Yanni has had a collaborative relationship with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in its fundraising efforts since the early years of his career, reportedly raising more than $13 million for that organization. The Yanni Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico production (2012) was Yanni's tenth collaboration with PBS.

To assist the conservation efforts the World Wide Fund for Nature (the World Wildlife Fund, WWF), Yanni sponsored a symbolic "Panda Adoption Kit" program in which he guaranteed $50,000 in donations.

^ Cite error: The named reference NewAgeMusic20120229 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference CourierJournal20120426 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference KPBS20120604 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Cite error: The named reference WWFAdoptaPanda was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Autobiography[edit]

Yanni's autobiography, Yanni in Words, co-authored by David Rensin, was published in February 2003, coinciding with the release of his Ethnicity album. The book became a New York Times best seller in the nonfiction category on March 2, 2003.

^ Cite error: The named reference NYTimesBestSeller20030302 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Bibliography[edit]

Yanni with David Rensin, Yanni in Words, Miramax/Hyperion, New York, 2003.Winters, Kelly, Yanni biography (2004), Cengage Learning's Gale Publishing, as published on encyclopedia.com. (archive)
more »more »

eMusic Features

0

Goodbye New Age

By Robert Phoenix, Contributor

I recently read a piece online that deconstructed author Marilyn Ferguson's Aquarian Conspiracy, a seminal work charting and celebrating the integration of New Age culture into mainstream culture. The author, however, was not kind to Ferguson, nor to the movement in general. He saw it as latter-day manifestation of ideas put forth by HG Wells and his "Fabian Socialists." It was his contention that "The Aquarian Conspiracy" was just that. I found some of the ideas… more »