2017 Yanni

To say that Yanni has had a successful career in music would be an understatement. The commercials that eventually led Olympics organizers to his music has spanned nationalities, bridged language differences and brought the world closer together.

The beginning of his lauded career was in 1980 with Optimystique, his first solo album. Continuing with moderate successes Imagination, Out of Silence and Cameleon, Yanni broke through to mainstream with the release of Dare To Dream, spawning the British Airways theme 'Aria' in its wake. That was quickly followed with the platinum Tribute Acropolis, recorded live, and If I Could Tell. His most recent album is titled Ethnicity and is causing the general commotion that a musician of his caliber tends to make.

Perhaps one of the reasons Yanni has been asked to compose the Olympic Theme every year since 1992 (besides the fact that he's Greek), may be his multinational approach to music. Known for his eclectic mixes of various instruments ranging from Australian to Armenian to Celtic, he prides himself in bringing the world's instruments to the ears of his listeners.

Music is Yanni's first language, the one he feels most comfortable speaking. "It's really strange, but they speak to me -- the notes and the chords. So when I hear other people's music, I can feel the composer. Whoever created that, I can see in their soul," he says. "Music," he says, "is an incredibly direct language. It bypasses language and logic, and speaks directly to your soul."

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