Yanni Biography

(One of the Best-Selling Musical Artists and Leading Figure of 20th-Century New Age Music)

Birthday: November 14, 1954 (Scorpio)

Born In: Kalamata, Greece

One of the greatest new age musicians of all times, Yanni was a self-taught artis who continues to push the boundaries of music. Born in Greece, Yanni became an American citizen. He traveled extensively and used his world experience to create complex and multi-cultural music. He has performed in restrictively exclusive venues like the Taj Mahal and the Acropolis of Athens. His creative and unique approach to music led him to develop his own musical shorthand when he was a child; he still uses it for his compositions. His long creative partnership with PBS proved that he is also effective at fundraising, and has raised millions of dollars to fund his own and other broadcast events. In addition to producing, directing and performing in his own orchestra, he also lends his charitable fundraising efforts to the World Wildlife Fund to promote the conservation of endangered species. As a keyboardist, composer and musician, he has received two Grammy nominations. Although his music is consistently labeled and enjoyed as a great example of the popular new age genre, he famously defies genre definitions and makes unique orchestral music that embodies his international repute.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Yiannis Chryssomallis

Age: 69 Years, 69 Year Old Males


father: Sotiri Chryssomallis

mother: Felitsa Chryssomallis

children: Krystal Ann (Daughter)

Born Country: Greece

Pianists Composers

Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males

Ancestry: Greek American

Notable Alumni: University Of Minnesota College Of Liberal Arts

More Facts

education: University Of Minnesota College Of Liberal Arts

  • 1

    Where was Yanni born and raised?

    Yanni was born in Kalamata, Greece, and raised in Sanaa, Yemen.
  • 2

    What genre of music is Yanni known for?

    Yanni is known for creating instrumental music, blending elements of new age, classical, and world music genres.
  • 3

    How many albums has Yanni released to date?

    Yanni has released over 35 albums, including studio, live, and compilation albums.
  • 4

    Has Yanni ever performed live at the Acropolis?

    Yes, Yanni famously performed live at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece on September 25, 1993, in a concert that was later released as a concert film and album.
  • 5

    Is Yanni a self-taught musician?

    Yes, Yanni is primarily a self-taught musician who learned to play the piano at a young age and developed his own unique style over the years.
Childhood & Early Life
Yanni was born as Yiannis Chryssomallis, on November 14, 1954, in Kalamata, Greece. As a child he developed his own way of writing music and continues to use his own signature 'musical shorthand' to compose pieces even today. He began to play piano as early as six and his parents allowed him to progress at his own pace.
In November of 1972 he moved to the United States to attend the University of Minnesota and majored in psychology. He played in a rock band during this time and discovered that music was his true calling.
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Yanni worked with many bands in his early career before moving to Los Angeles to pursue soundtrack composition for movies and theater. In 1977, he played in the band, ‘Chameleon’, with drummer Charlie Adams, whom he would later go on to work with.
He produced his first solo album ‘Optimystique’ in 1980 and developed his unique musical sound. To promote this and other early albums, he went on tour with Charlie Adams and various other band members for several years before permanently relocating to Los Angeles.
His popularity began to grow in the early '90s with several high profile, TV and magazine appearances, including ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ and ‘People Magazine’. His relationship with actress Linda Evans helped to increase his visibility, but he soon became a celebrity in his own right.
Yanni's growing popularity launched him to the forefront of the New Age movement that swelled throughout the 1990s. He landed his first Grammy nomination for the 1992 album ‘Dare to Dream’, with his second nomination following the year after.
In 1997, he became one of the few western performers to play at the Taj Mahal and the Forbidden City. He negotiated these breakthrough concerts, completed a sweeping world tour and broke off his long term relationship with actress Linda Evans, and then took a two year hiatus from his musical career.
He cited stress and depression as the reason for his hiatus, and took advantage of the break to travel and learn more about the world. His travels, during this time, added depth to his music.
He launched his comeback, in 2000, with the album ‘If I Could Tell You’, which shot to number 20 on the Billboard charts, making it his most successful debut ever. During this decade he continued to use PBS and other creative venues to explore his unique sound through world music and other genres.
Today, Yanni continues his massive international tours, visiting over 30 different countries and sharing his unique compositions. His recent work includes 2014's ‘Inspirato’, a collaborative project with operatic tenor Plácido Domingo and producer Ric Wake.
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Major Works
In September 1993, he recorded his first live album and breakthrough performance, ‘Yanni Live at the Acropolis’, which featured his core band backed by the 60 piece Royal Philharmonic orchestra. The broadcast aired on PBS and was one of their most popular shows of all time, while the music video became the second best-selling music video of all time behind Michael Jackson's ‘Thriller’.
Awards & Achievements
Yanni has the rare distinction of being permitted to perform at some of the most exclusive venues and restrictive landmarks in the world, including the Royal Albert Hall, the Acropolis of Athens, the Taj Mahal, the Forbidden City and the Kremlin.
Yanni has received two Grammy nominations—in 1992 and 1993—in the category 'Best New Age Album'. No less than 15 of his albums have made it to the Billboard chart's number one spot for new age albums.
‘Yanni Live at the Acropolis’ and ‘Tribute’ were some of PBS's most popular broadcasts of all time, with Yanni Live selling over seven million copies. Both specials earned Emmy Award nominations.
In addition to Live at the Acropolis, he has collaborated with PBS on over 10 major projects and assisted their fundraising efforts throughout his career. Over the course of their partnership, he has helped them to raise an estimated 13 million dollars for public broadcasting.
Personal Life & Legacy
Yanni dated actress Linda Evans. Their relationship lasted from 1989 to 1998, and currently, he is single.
For years, world believed that Yanni has no children, but in April 2014, Yanni revealed that he has a daughter, namely, Krystal Ann, and introduced her then 32 year old daughter to the world.
Facts About Yanni
Yanni is known for his unique musical style that blends elements of classical, jazz, and world music, creating a distinctive and ethereal sound that has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world.
Yanni is a self-taught musician who began playing the piano at the age of six and went on to become one of the most successful and celebrated instrumental artists of his time.
Yanni is also a skilled composer and has written music for numerous films and television shows, showcasing his versatility and talent in creating emotive and powerful soundtracks.
Yanni's live performances are renowned for their grandeur and spectacle, with elaborate stage setups and lighting effects that enhance the immersive experience for audiences.
Despite his fame and success, Yanni remains humble and grounded, often expressing gratitude towards his fans and the power of music to connect people from all walks of life.
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