There's a peculiar sub-set of musicians that it's very difficult to get a handle on — those who shift millions of records, sell out enormous venues to adoring crowds all across the world, and yet manage to fly so under the radar to be less well-known to millions of music fans than that atrocious single Eddie Murphy put out in 1985. One such musician is the Greek composer and producer Yanni, who arrives in London next month to delight one of those very same adoring crowds at the Royal Albert Hall.
Yanni, for the many of you who have never heard him, has the following accolades under his belt. He has sold somewhere in excess of 25 million albums worldwide. He has been voted in the five top 'new age' artists by the ever-powerful Billboard chart company for the last few years running, and 15 of his albums have gone to number one in the Billboard new age chart. He has been nominated for Grammy awards and Emmy awards. He was also, according to Wikipedia, 'the first Western artist to be invited to adopt a giant panda bear cub at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a privilege usually reserved for countries rather than personalities'.
To British audiences, he is possibly most well-known for his composition of the music of a long-running British Airways advert from a few years ago. Here is Yanni's Aria to remind you, from another enormous concert at China's Forbidden City.
In the video above, Yanni is the undemonstrative man at the centre of the bank of keyboards. His usual live style is to mildly direct his performers from his central podium, and it's fair to say it's a show that goes down rather well — his TV specials are believed to have been watched by over two billion people since his career first took off in the 1980s.
Yanni returns to London for his first live show in 19 years at the Royal Albert Hall on 23 April. He is currently touring to help promote his new record, Inspirato, which includes duets with classical heavyweights Renee Fleming (the national anthem singer at this year's Super Bowl), Katherine Jenkins and Placido Domingo. You can get a taster for the new album on YouTube.
The Albert Hall show is almost certain to be a sell-out so you'll want to get in soon to avoid disappointment, though whether Yanni will include Murphy's Party All the Time in the encore, Londonist is currently unable to confirm.
Image of Yanni courtesy of Anirudh Koul via Flickr.