June 30, 2013 - 8:30 pm
Sun Jun 30 and Mon Jul 1st
Superstar composer and global phenomenon YANNI is finally coming to Lebanon to play his greatest hits, accompanied by an orchestra of virtuoso musicians and vocalists. Best-known for his television special Live at the Acropolis, his concerts are truly uplifting experiences with dazzling visual effects. After playing the most impressive venues in the world, YANNI will put the historic port of Byblos under his spell!
Born Yanni Chryssomallis in southern Greece, YANNI came to the U.S. to attend the University of Minnesota, which gave him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2005. He studied psychology, but ultimately dedicated himself to music. At school, he played with the group Chameleon before moving to Los Angeles, where he released his first album, Optimystique, in 1984.
YANNI delved into instrumental composing, and had his first platinum album with Reflections of Passion in 1990. Two years later, Dare To Dream netted his first Grammy nomination; its follow up, In My Time, earned another nod. YANNI’s major breakthrough came with 1993’s Yanni Live at the Acropolis, an album/video/PBS project seen by half a billion people in 65 countries. It marked the beginning of YANNI’s long association with PBS, and built a truly global audience for his music. The second best-selling music video of all time (after Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”), Live at the Acropolis made him a household name!
To date, YANNI has sold more than 35 million albums globally, and his 2003 autobiography, Yanni In Words, made the New York Times bestseller list. His music is also a staple as a soundtrack for television, especially major sporting events, including the Olympic Games since 1988. It has brought hundreds of fellow world citizens together via his concerts, with countless more inspired by it through television broadcasts.
In 2009 YANNI released Voices, an album that brought vocalists to the forefront of his compositions for the first time. It was a huge success: the tour that followed was one of the highest grossing of his career and all his subsequent tours have included vocalists.
On Truth of Touch, released in 2011, YANNI returned to the contemporary instrumental form that made him an international superstar. The album -his 19th overall and 16th studio release- is YANNI’s first collection of primarily instrumental music since 2003. It was recorded with producer-songwriter Ric Wake, YANNI’s key collaborator on his last two albums, Yanni Voices and the Spanish-language Yanni Voces. The project grew organically out of a six-month break from touring and recording.
One of public television’s all-time top fundraisers, YANNI recently played two sold-out concerts at the historic 16th century Castillo San Felipe Del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The dates were the first-ever performances at this recognized UNESCO Heritage Site. YANNI: Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico made its nationwide public television debut on March 3, 2012, which marked the composer’s tenth collaboration with PBS.
On April 17th, 2012, YANNI: Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico CD and DVD was released. It spotlights YANNI and his orchestra performing audience favorites including “Truth of Touch”, “Voyage” and “Vertigo” from YANNI’s latest studio album, Truth of Touch (2011). Also featured is a new version of YANNI’s signature song “Nightingale”, and other classics that have not been recorded in decades, including “The End of August”, “The Rain Must Fall”, and “Felitsa”.
Over the past several years, YANNI’s ongoing studio explorations have resulted in more than 300 songs. Even as the road beckons once again, YANNI’s heart also remains in studio with all the music he’s created of late. “I’ve been having fun”, he says. “What I’ve learned is when a song hits you, when something moves you to write, it’s an emotion. All of life comes together, and you have to follow it. I want to take my audiences on a journey. They don’t know what’s coming next, but I promise it will be a pleasant surprise.”
YANNI’s first visit to Lebanon is part of his “World Without Borders” tour. He’s recently been to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, where he was the first western performer to play some of the world’s most impressive venues like the Taj Mahal in India and the Forbidden City in China. Accompanied by an orchestra of virtuoso musicians and vocalists, he will play favorites from throughout his career, as well as selections from his latest studio album, Truth of Touch (2011). His passionate, soaring melodies and lush orchestration will put the historic port of Byblos under his spell!