Yanni – In my words


These days some of us are excited with the big news of Yanni’s visit to Sri Lanka and some have started wondering who this Yanni is. So thought of writing about him and his visit to SL.

Students; who have studied western music (under the ordinary level syllabus) have definitely studied about great composers who lived long time back; like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach etc. Yanni is a one from our time with lots of humanity.

Yiannis Chryssomallis (Yanni) was born in Acroyali, Greece on 14th November 1954 to a poor family. He was the middle child of his parents Felitsa and Sotiri Chryssomallis. He has a one brother and a sister. In spite of being poor his father bought a piano and instead of listening Chryssomallis family started to make music. At the age of 8, little Yanni started playing piano without any formal lessons. Sotiri and Felitsa wanted their children to be graduated in the United States. Hence, they moved to the U.S. in 1972 and Yanni graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Psychology) in 1976.

Yanni’s public music life started with the local rock and roll band called Chameleon, playing keyboard. Since Yanni did not take any formal music lessons, he could not read standard music notations. He has a unique way of reading and writing musical notes.

After moving to Hollywood with a drummer named Charlie Adams, he released his first album “Opt Mistique” and he kept on composing music because he realized that music is his future.

Among some popular albums of his, such as “Reflection of Passion”, “In celebrations of life”; the album “Dare to Dream” (1992) made Yanni a Grammy nominee and then the album “In my time” nominated him once again in Grammy awards and won Platinum Status.

The album “Life at Acropolis” (1994) made a huge difference in his life, which was released in his homeland, Greece. It was his first international success, selling more than 7.5 millions of copies worldwide. Olympic broadcast was done by Yanni for the past three decades.

Some people do get stiff-necked when they started getting popular and rich, but Yanni is an exception to that case. Even after his album “Double Platinum” hit the second place in the U.S. charts throughout the year, he took a break of 7 years from his popular life and went back to Greece simplifying his life. He ended his break with the album “If I could tell you” and his autobiography “Yanni in words”. This Greek national record breaker’s love for Pandas made him adopt a giant panda in 2011 and he donated $ 50,000 and sponsored “Panda Adoption kit”.

With having many more albums like Ethnicity (2003), Yanni Mexicanisimo (2010), Truth of touch (2011), Inspirato (latest album) clenched; Yanni will be performing at the Sri Lanka Sugathadasa Stadium on 20th April 2014 and the show is organized by Wizcraft, AKG events and Amuseam special events.