Who is Yanni (born in 1954) ?

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Who is Yanni (born in 1954) ?

Yanni Chryssomallis (born November 14, 1954, Kalamata, Greece) is a Greek New Age pianist and composer, bringing together orchestral, instrumental, and lyrical genres. In Greek, his name is written Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης (Giannis Chrysomallis).

As a child, he liked to play the piano, although he did not take lessons for this instrument. In his free time, he performed songs of the moment for his family. He was a good swimmer, even breaking a national record in the 50 m freestyle in Greece.

In 1973, at the age of 18, Yanni traveled to the United States to study psychology at the University of Minnesota. While studying, Yanni played publicly with the group Chameleon, where he met the excellent drummer Charlie Adams. With Chameleon, they had modest commercial success, playing towns in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and South Dakota. He eventually graduated from that discipline and earned a bachelor’s degree.

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As a psychologist, he did work on Sigmund Freud, of whom he considers himself an admirer. Immediately after graduating, he attempted a career in music, even though he couldn’t read music and had no formal training.

In 1992, he released the album ‘Dare to Dream’, whose song Aria was nominated for a ‘Grammy’ and popularized in a ‘British Airways’ commercial. His music was also used in the movie ‘I Love You Perfect’. His music, of an instrumental and melodic nature, is of an orchestral type. His songs have been used as soundtracks for film, television, sports tournaments, theater and the Olympic Games.

His biggest commercial success came with the release of his album and video, ‘Yanni Live at the Acropolis’, filmed on September 25, 1993, at the 2000-year-old Herodes Atticus theater in Athens, and released in 1994. The concert, located in an architectural environment protected by the cultural entities of this ancient heritage, was authorized in an extraordinary and exclusive way, due to the implications of sound, by the Greek authorities. This was her first live album and used a magnificent and complex orchestra, as well as her own performers.

Under the supervision of conductor Shardad Rohani, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, he performed a master concert. The concert was later broadcast in the United States on the Public Broadcasting Service, and quickly became one of their most popular shows. It has remained stable in the global charts since its introduction and is the second best-selling music video of all time. More than 10 million copies were sold worldwide.

The songs ‘One man’s dream’, ‘Until the last moment’ and ‘Nostalgia’ are versions of previous productions. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, he was the first musician to perform in the Forbidden City.

This concert is included in the ‘Tribute’ album, along with the performances at the ‘Taj Mahal’, one of the best-known tourist sites in India, built in the 17th century. The concert has prestigious international musicians, as in his concert at the Acropolis, in which the violinist Karen Briggs has stood out.

In the year 2000, he recorded his twelfth production, with the name of ‘If I Could Tell You’, once again captivating his audience with new rhythms, influenced by his last tour of East Asia, highlighting compositions such as ‘On Sacred Ground’, ‘Wishing Well’ and ‘If I Could Tell You’.

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In 2003, Yanni reappeared with his first album of lyrical style, called ‘Ethnicity’, with new rhythms. This is his most varied album in terms of musical culture, since it includes instruments almost unknown to the kitsch public, such as the Australian diyiridoo.

In February 2003, coinciding with the release of his thirteenth album ‘Ethnicity’, the autobiography of this performer and composer, called ‘Yanni in Words’, co-written by David Rensin, came to light. In it, he recounts his childhood in Greece, his years at the University of Minnesota, his success as an international artist along with exploring his creative process, and his nine-year relationship with actress Linda Evans (1942 –). He later went on a world tour called Yanni Live! ‘World Tour’ to which he dedicated about two years traveling through the United States and Canada.

After going almost 8 years without releasing a live CD, Yanni returned in the fall of 2006 with the presentation of a new production recorded live as part of his last performance of 2004 in Las Vegas. Yanni made a few years ago a composition dedicated to her mother, called “Felitsa”, who died on May 20, 2006, in her homeland, Kalamata.

On March 8, 2006, Yanni was charged with mistreatment of his then sentimental partner, the brunette model Silvia Barthes (1972–), in a mansion in Manalapan (Miami). The charges could not be proven, but the Greek musician spent the night in the Palm Beach jail. In those days, the Bolivian model dedicated herself to revealing conjugal secrets of her relationship with the musician. Of course, the complaint was dismissed by the judge and the case was filed.

Yanni has since made a change in appearance by cutting his hair and lowering his large mustache. He returned to the recording studios, where she conceived the ‘Yanni Voices’ project, which aims to be a show that unites his mastery with the voices of well-known performers in Spanish.

On August 15, 2006, he presented a new production, ‘Yanni Live! The Concert Event’, and later in September a DVD. According to his managers and his own comments, he had planned to perform a special and solemn concert in the pyramids of Teotihuacán, in Mexico. On November 13, 2008, he presented his show ‘Yanni Voices and Special Guests’ at the Forum Mundo Imperial, in Acapulco (Mexico). In March 2009 Yanni published the album titled Yanni Voces, a compendium of the show offered in Acapulco, in which the participation of Olga Tañón (1967), Lucero (actress) and the return of singer José José (1948) stand out.

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Using his own musical notation, he began to write his own original songs. With Chameleon, they published several discs, of little commercial success. Finally, Yanni got tired of Rock and Pop, and began to focus on her solo career, playing keyboards. In the late ’80s, he moved to Los Angeles, where he formed a small group with drummer Charlie Adams and John Tesh.

His music has been described as New Age, although he prefers to call it Contemporary Instrumental. It has been considered to have ‘Mozart Effect’ properties. His compositions also include romantic ballads.

Yanni – Nostalgia (Piano solo with sheet music)

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