Photographs by Lee-Ann Richer.
Originally from Greece, Yanni is a pianist, keyboardist, composer, and music producer, primarily in the style of Contemporary Instrumental New Age music. He has been active for the past 34 years, and famous since his first appearance in People magazine and on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1990, when he was also in a relationship with the actress Linda Evans. Yanni got quite well known for his 1993 performance, Yanni Live at the Acropolis, at the 2,000 year old Herodes Atticus Theater at the Acropolis of Athens. Even watching it today, it’s one of the most epic live performances you’ll ever experience. Since then, Yanni has been actively producing, recording, and touring.
Back in Toronto, Yanni was performing at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. It was still light outside when the show began around 8PM, and that’s pretty much my only complaint about the show, as the accompanying lights during the show created a deeper, more intimate connection between the musicians and the audience, through the universality of music. Going through such a great and profound body of work, it was the combination of different musical expressions, from different scales and time-signatures to cinematic orchestrations and layered melodies, along with Yanni’s unique interpretation of them that impressed me the most, a reminder that a great artist has a one-of-a-kind ability to develop his/her own musical/poetic/visual/cinematic/etc. language which can be immediately identified through few seconds of interaction with his/her works.
Yanni has got that.