BORN: November 14, 1954

Many people think they've never heard Yanni's music.  Yet in the early 1990's the keyboardist's work was heard by more people than perhaps that of any other composer; from commercials to sporting events, this Greek-born synthesizer wiz has been everywhere, establishing a fan base beyond his diehard New Age constituency.

When , in 1972, he left his home in Kalamata, Greece, at age 18, Yanni Chrysomallis, had no plans to become a music star.  Although music had always been a passion, the study of psychology overrode it.  Having read all the works of Sigmund Freud by the time he was 16, Yanni chose to go to the United States to study psychology at the University of Minnesota.  Later, it occurred to him that "to have a PH.D. at the age of 24 and go into practice and have children and do the same thing over and over again-it would drive me crazy," he confessed to a reporter from People.  And with that, music took over.  He did learn something useful from psychology classes, however; that was where he learned to speak English.

As a child, Yanni mastered the piano without lessons.  He played for hours trying to re-create the music he'd heard on the radio or at the movies.  Having perfect pitch certainly helped.  In time he even developed his own system of musical notation, something he still uses.  But as a youth, Yanni also found room for sports; he is a former member of the Greek National Swimming Team and broke the national freestyle record at age 14.

After leaving school, Yanni worked as a studio musician, toured for years with the cult rock band Chameleon, and often spent fifteen-hour day at the keyboard.  The distinctive musical style that developed from his hard work and talent urged him toward a solo career.  In 1986 Yanni's demo tape caught the ear of Private Music's Peter Bowman; he was convinced that the musician had something special.  Later year, Private Music released Yanni's first solo album, Optimystique.  From there Yanni went on to  quietly develop a tremendous fan following.




2-03. Yanni - Reflections of passion.mp3