Yanni (real name: Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης / Yiannis Hrysomallis) born in November 14, 1954 in Kalamata, Greece, is a Greek self-taught pianist, keyboardist, and composer.
Although many fans and critics call his music new age, Yanni himself has distanced himself from that label. In his autobiography, Yanni devotes an entire chapter to the subject, stating that he prefers to call his music contemporary instrumental.
Yanni is a self-taught pianist who began his musical career by giving recitals for family members though he had no formal training and could not read a note. At the age of 18 he attended the University of Minnesota. While a student there, Yanni joined an up-and-coming local group called Chameleon where he met drummer Charlie Adams. Chameleon earned some modest commercial success touring throughout the Midwest. After receiving a B.A. in psychology, he sought a life in music. He moved to California in pursuit of movie soundtrack work. In 1987 he put together a small band which included John Tesh and Charlie Adams, and began touring to promote his earliest instrumental albums, Keys to Imagination, Out of Silence, and Chameleon Days.
In 1992 Dare to Dream was released. It was Yanni’s first Grammy-nominated album and featured “Aria”, a song based on The Flower Duet and popularized by an award-winning British Airways commercial.