The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents An Evening with Yanni on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at 8:00 p.m., at the Benedum Center. This concert is part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series. In 2012, Yanni brings his tour to North America, followed by a South American tour in the fall, and a multi-city tour of China in 2013. The concert will feature Yanni and his world-class musicians and vocalists performing many selections from his extensive music career.
Tickets ($52.25-$152.25) are on sale now at the Box Office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue, by phone at (412) 456-6666 or online at www.trustarts.org. For group ticket sales (10 or more), please call 412-471-6930.
Yanni is known throughout the world as one of this century's most original and successful composers and musicians. His powerful compositions have come to define a new genre of music and over 500 million people in over 140 countries have seen his live performances. Yanni’s concerts are legendary. Yanni’s concerts have also been seen on public broadcasting television stations around the country as part of station pledge drives and Yanni: A Living Legacy was broadcast on television around the globe.
Yanni was born in the southern Greek metropolis of Kalamata. Gifted with perfect pitch, he taught himself to play piano and also excelled as a swimmer, setting a Greek national record in the 50-meter freestyle when he was just 14. He came to the United States to attend the University of Minnesota and was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2005. He studied psychology, but ultimately dedicated himself to music, which he felt was “a time bomb ticking inside” him.
Highlights from Yanni’s Music Career
Yanni performed with the group Chameleon while he was in school. He moved to Los Angeles and released his first album Optimystique, in 1980. Yanni delved into instrumental composition, and had his first platinum album with Reflections of Passion in 1990. Two years later, Dare To Dream was Yanni's first Grammy Award nomination; its follow up, In My Time, was also Grammy nominated. A major career breakthrough came in 1993 with Yanni Live at the Acropolis, an album/video/PBS special project, seen by half a billion people in 65 countries, and sold more than 7.5 million albums worldwide. It marked the beginning of Yanni’s long association with PBS that now includes Yanni: Live at El Morro, and past event highlights such as Live at Royal Albert Hall and Tribute, which featured 1997 concerts at the Taj Mahal in India and the Forbidden City in China—Yanni was the first western artist to perform in both countries.
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—it has been featured in broadcasts of Olympic Games since 1988, as well as ABC’s Wide World of Sports, the World Figure Skating Championships, the Tour de France and many other events.
Yanni Voices, was the musician’s 14th studio album and 5th live DVD, released in 2009. The album debuted on Billboard's Top 200 and #1 on the New Age chart. The Spanish version, Yanni Voces, debuted at #2 on Billboard's New Age chart, #5 on the Latin Pop chart, and #13 on the Latin overall chart. The DVD release: 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 television.
Yanni Mexicanisimo, released in October 2010, was dedicated as a tribute to Mexico, a combination of Mexican music with Yanni’s style, it became the #7 selling album that year.
Truth of Touch, Yanni’s 19th studio recording, was released in February 2011 and went on to become a top-selling album.
Highlights from Yanni’s Concert Tours
Yanni Live in South America tour 2010 included performances in Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
During 2011, Yanni and his world-class musicians and vocalists performed over 60 concerts through the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico and Panama; and toured 15 stops in Eastern Europe and Asia. Yanni was embraced and honored by the country of China when the government invited Yanni to adopt a panda during his time in Chengdu. Traditionally such privilege is reserved for countries rather than personalities. He affectionately named her “Santorini” in honor of the word’s embedded Greek meaning, “Peace,” for Greece’s most beautiful island and after one of Yanni’s most well-known compositions.
Yanni’s performance in December 2011, filmed at Castillo San Felipe Del Morro, a recognized UNESCO Heritage Site in Puerto Rico, will be aired during the spring of 2012 exclusively in the United States on PBS television as a CD/DVD pledge drive, followed by a later worldwide release.