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Yanni - TRUTH OF TOUCH Tour
Budapest, Syma Event Hall
Sept 16th 2011, Friday at 8 PM
His concerts are legendary. They have been seen by millions around the globe. From many of the world's most magnificent venues, Yanni performs his unique and unparalleled instrumental compositions accompanied by the finest musicians in the world.
Yanni (born on November 14, 1954, in Kalamata, Greece)—is a self-taught pianist, keyboardist, and composer.
He earned Grammy nominations for his 1992 album, Dare to Dream, and the 1993 follow-up, In My Time. His breakthrough success came with the 1994 release of Yanni Live at the Acropolis, deemed to be the second best-selling music video of all time. Yanni has since performed live in concert before in excess of two million people in more than 20 countries around the world. He has accumulated more than 35 platinum and gold albums globally, with sales totaling over 20 million copies. Yanni is considered to be one of the top fundraisers of all time for public television. His compositions have been included in all Olympic Games television broadcasts since 1988, and his music has been used extensively in television and televised sporting events. His music is frequently described as "new age", though he prefers the term "contemporary instrumental".
"The Beginning - Greece"
In Kalamata, on the shores of the Mediterranean, Yanni was born in 1954 to Sotiri and Felitsa Chryssomallis. The second of three children, Yanni has an older brother and a younger sister. Sharing a deep-rooted love of music, the family spent much of their time playing and singing together.
Yanni's parents provided a typical Greek life for the young boy. He grew up fishing, swimming, and going to school like every other boy in his town, with one exception. Yanni was born to compose music. He began to play the piano at age six, but he refused formal piano lessons. As a child, Yanni heard music in his head and he simply wanted to hear it come out of the piano too, so he needed to learn how to play to make that happen. He felt a certain freedom with the keys that might have been crushed under the weight of structured learning.
Music was not Yanni's only talent. In 1969, at the age of 14, Yanni broke the Greek National swimming record for the men's 50-meter freestyle event. Although he could have pursued this skill, he chose to travel a different path; one which eventually led him to share his musical gift with the world.
His childhood in Greece and his love for his native country gave Yanni his inspiration to compose such songs as "Santorini," "Nostalgia," and "Acroyali."
"The Second Beginning - United States"
In 1972, with the encouragement of his parents, Yanni left his homeland to attend the University of Minnesota. Between his studies, he played in local rock and roll bands and began to develop his personal musical style using both piano and electronic keyboards to create new sounds.
Despite a new culture, a new climate, and a new language, Yanni graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. After graduation, he decided to give music 100% of his effort for one year. He needed to better understand the driving artistic forces that had been such a large part of his childhood years. It was during this year that he chose to make music his vocation.
"Rock and Roll - The Chameleon Days"
Yanni played keyboards for Chameleon, a rock and roll band that became well known in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Spurred by their success, Chameleon began to tour regionally - across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago, Iowa, and the Dakotas. They also produced 2 albums independently during this time.
By now Yanni knew his future would be in music, and he used his experience with electronic keyboards to begin creating his own compositions. "Optimystique," his first solo album, was independently released in 1980.
"Yanni - On His Own"
Yanni single-mindedly continued to pursue his passion for creating music. He explored the worlds of electronic music, new sounds and instruments, and composition. This was a very productive and busy time for Yanni. He released 2 albums and worked on a third before moving to Hollywood, the film industry capital, where he recorded 4 film scores and released 3 more albums. He also re-released "Optimystique."
In 1990, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra accompanied Yanni in concert, adding a new dimension to his unique style and a prelude of things to come.
Yanni was constantly experimenting and composing - giving his growing number of fans new music every year. The album "In Celebration of Life," was released in 1991, "Dare to Dream" in 1992, and "In My Time" in 1993. And, as if that wasn't enough to keep him busy, Yanni went on tour each of these three years. He received Grammy nominations for "Dare to Dream" and "In My Time" in which the collection of serene piano-focused pieces went on to sell more than a million copies. Each year brought a more extensive tour, larger venues, and greater numbers of fans. Yanni hand-picked the band members who would accompany him on his tours, and eventually added an entire symphony orchestra.
"Full Circle - Yanni Live at the Acropolis"
Yanni toured internationally for the first time, presenting his music live in some world famous venues such as the Toji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, Royal Albert Hall in London, and at the Acropolis in his homeland of Greece.
Yanni, Live at the Acropolis was filmed on September 23, 1993 at the 2000 year old Herod Atticus Theater in Athens and marked a triumphant return to his homeland. The concert was subsequently broadcast in the United States on PBS, where Yanni has since become one of the top all-time fundraisers, and around the world, where it was seen in 65 countries by half a billion viewers. The album has sold more than 7 million copies, while the video has sold 1 million copies, making it one of the best-selling videos of all time. Yanni has continued to provide a great deal of support for PBS and has also appeared on several PBS Pledge Specials such as A Decade of Excellence, which included segments from Yanni Live at the Acropolis, Yanni Live at Royal Albert Hall and Tribute videos.
"A Global Journey - Tribute World Tour"
Yanni pursued the biggest challenge of his career - to become the first western artist to perform at both the Taj Mahal in India and the Forbidden City in China. Both venues presented unique and difficult obstacles, but once again, Yanni's persistence and patience paid off through the highly successful concerts. The "Tribute" album was released in the Fall of 1997, and much of the music was written with these two locations in mind. Yanni's third long format music video, also titled Tribute, was filmed during these two momentous events. The result was an outstanding combination of extraordinary musicians, inspiring sights, and an unchallenged movement of world peace and harmony, all brought together by a single artist's vision. The special was seen by a collective television audience of some 250 million people. In conjunction with his performance Yanni donated the proceeds from the show to help preserve the Taj Mahal.
In tandem with the release of "Tribute," Yanni embarked on his record-breaking 9-month, 100+ city tour. Beginning in Mexico City, Yanni became the first foreign artist to sell out five consecutive shows at the Auditorio Nacionale. The momentum continued from there as Yanni moved on to play 10 consecutive sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York; the first time this had happened since 1993. The "Tribute" tour was the top selling tour during the first half of 1998, and was ranked #2 for the entire year.
"If I Could Tell You"
His first studio album in 7 years, "If I Could Tell You," followed in 2000 after a two year sabbatical. It was a deeply personal and introspective work that stripped away some of the grandiose elements found on his previous albums. The change in direction was no less inspiring, but it did reflect changes in his personal life as well as a move to the East coast and a glimpse into Yanni's heart.
In February, 2003, Yanni released Ethnicity, his 13th album. The album signaled another creative shift in direction and proved a harbinger of things to come. Yanni once again explored the powerful symphonic sounds that marked some of his earlier works but also incorporated more exotic textures. The album featured an array of different instruments, from an Australian didgeridoo, a Celtic violin, and an Armenian duduk to an Indian tabla, as well as a variety of human voices in the form of solo arias, group chants and even lyrics, a rare departure for the instrumentalist. The same year also saw the publication of his Miramax Books autobiography, "Yanni in Words," a New York Times best seller. It's a reflective look at the challenges, lessons, dreams and obstacles in Yanni's life.
Soon after the release of his book, Yanni undertook an unprecedented North American Tour in November, 2004. The tour kicked off at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, NV. The commanding performance was recorded and filmed for what was to be Yanni's first live CD since Tribute, 2006's Yanni Live! The Concert Event. The mammoth tour included nearly 150 shows, with total attendance of more than 1 million fans, making it, according to Billboard magazine, among the largest grossing for three years running.
After a reflectve time, Yanni experimented with another direction. Yanni explains, "I will always do instrumental music, but now I'm just trying to expand my horizons and open the doors to some incredible talent that can give voice and lyrics to my work."
The multi-Grammy nominated performer is talking about Yanni-Wake Entertainment, his newly formed venture with fellow Grammy and Oscar winning producer/songwriter, Ric Wake. This exciting enterprise will not only continue to create superb music, but it will also develop talented new artists, compose music for films and be involved in movie and television production. Yanni Wake Entertainment has signed Nathan Pacheco, Chloe, Ender Thomas and Leslie Mills.
His more recent tour, Yanni Voices: Live in Concert, in 2009 was a big success. Touring all over North America with sold out shows including Radio City Music Hall and full houses throughout Mexico. The tour was nominated for the prestigious Lunas del Auditorio award and was in support of Yanni's Mexican chart topping release: Yanni Voces (CD) and Yanni Voices (CD).
Yanni Voces reached #1 on the Mexican Pop Charts and #2 on the over all Mexican Music Charts. A recent DVD release of Yanni Voices: Live in Concert reached Amazon's number one best seller list within the first week of sales and was a fundraising success for PBS.
On his new direction, Yanni says, "I'm looking for the next stage of my evolution. Having dedicated so many years to this art, I feel an obligation to maintain it, or at least keep developing myself. There are no rules. It's so exciting. And we're going to surprise people. Just watch. To make things happen in life, you have to have faith and passion. Right now is the best time of my life."
In his long and remarkable career, Yanni has proven to have been blessed with both faith and passion in abundance.
There are a lot of exciting things ahead for Yanni. Check back to www.Yanni.com for tour and new music updates. There are plans in the works for international (including the USA) appearances in 2010 and 2011 as well as new compositions from Yanni.
YANNI’s new album, TRUTH OF TOUCH is really one of his best albums and the thing that makes it so unique is that when he was recording it, he didn’t know he was actually making it.
TRUTH OF TOUCH was born not as an album with a game plan but rather as a result of the time YANNI spent in his Miami recording studio after a pair of vocal albums–YANNI VOICES and the Spanish language YANNI VOCES in 2009–simply playing music, experimenting and “having fun.”
“I wasn’t even trying to make an album,” YANNI recalls. “I just felt like writing music. I happened to be at a point where I wasn’t stressed out about going on tour or having to deliver an album for anybody. It was effortless. I felt the music. It was probably the best way to do an album.”
The result is a dazzling 15-song set filled with familiar conventions and new sounds and approaches. “I wanted it to be fresh. I wanted the album to be edgy, and I also wanted it to be honest. It’s easy to say ‘Let’s make it fresh. Let’s make it edgy and another thing to actually do it. But that’s how we approached it this time.”
That spirit, of course, is part of YANNI’s approach to music, and to life, since he was born Yanni Chryssomallis in the southern Greek metropolis of Kalamata. Gifted with perfect pitch, he taught himself to play piano and also excelled in the swimming pool, where he set a Greek national record in the 50-meter freestyle when he was just 14. At the University of Minnesota–which gave him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2005–YANNI studied psychology, but ultimately decided that “it wasn’t a real science yet. There was too much conflicting information.” He instead dedicated himself to music, which YANNI felt was “a time bomb ticking inside” him. He played in a band called Chameleon before moving to Los Angeles, where he released his first album, OPTIMYSTIQUE, in 1980 (though it had been recorded nine years prior) and delved deeply into instrumental music, later incorporating some vocal pieces to complement and complete his palette.
Success came in waves. REFLECTIONS OF PASSION in 1990 was his first million-seller. DARE TO DREAM netted YANNI’s first Grammy Award nomination two years later, and YANNI LIVE AT THE ACROPOLIS, an album/video/PBS special project, was a breakthrough, seen by half a billion people in 65 countries and selling more than 7.5 million copies worldwide–and beginning a long association with PBS that’s included events such as TRIBUTE and LIVE AT ROYAL ALBERT HALL. Most important to YANNI, ACROPOLIS and the other works found an audience for his music, majestic creations that he designed to be positive and life-affirming.
YANNI has sold more than 35 million albums globally and his 2003 autobiography, YANNI IN WORDS, made the New York Times bestseller list. Moreover, TV and especially sports broadcasts have found his music to be an effective soundtrack, incorporating it in many Olympic Games as well as ABC’s “WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS,” the World Figure Skating Championships, the Tour de France and other events.
Recent years have found YANNI immersing himself more in vocal music with the release of YANNI VOICES and YANNI VOCES, while he also joined the Mexican Bicentennial celebration with 2010′s MEXICANISMO. Meanwhile, YANNI continued with his studio explorations, crafting more than 300 songs during the past few years.
For TRUTH OF TOUCH, co-producer Wake says that rhythmic direction “came from YANNI. It’s just different life experiences. He’s a different person since he did (ETHNICITY). There have been a lot of influences since then. I was really surprised. I didn’t expect it, but I was very happy about it.”
“I wanted the album to be a journey,” YANNI says. “I wanted to take you through places and I wanted to surprise you here and there. I didn’t want it to be a vocal album like VOICES and VOCES, but a couple of vocals here and there, I think, enhance it. It gives you a point of departure and then a place to come back to.
“There’s a lot of music nobody has heard because we haven’t released it, but it will be released eventually,” YANNI promises. The whole idea is to lead the audience, surprise the audience. I don’t want the audience to lead me; I want to lead them, take them through a journey and surprise them. They don’t know what’s coming next, but what’s coming next will be a pleasant surprise, not a cold shower.”