JEDDAH: Renowned Greek composer and musician Yanni, on his first visit to the Kingdom, said in Arabic at a press conference on Thursday that he is “so happy to be in Saudi Arabia.”
“I’m so happy and relaxed, more than my other concerts. The way people look at me makes me smile because they’re very welcoming and gentle," he said.
“You have to come to Saudi to feel this and to witness the changes... I’m really amazed by the speed of how things have changed.”
The press conference was held at the Bay La Sun Hotel in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) prior to his two concerts.
It was attended by Sultan Al-Qahtani, public relations manager at the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), Abdul Aziz Al-Dhuayan, chief communications officer at the GEA, and many local media representatives.
“I’d like to express my deep appreciation to KAEC, which has done so much to make this event a success,” said Al-Dhuayan.
“We’re aware of the huge leap made in bringing international stars to the Kingdom, with all kinds of events and concerts to entertain people and make them happy,” he added.
“More than 70 events have been organized by the GEA this year under the umbrella of ‘Winter Festivities’.”
Describing “every one” of his accompanying musicians as “a very special performer,” Yanni said music “gently opens both your heart and your mind.”
He added: “This is an extremely important time for me. It gives me great pleasure and makes me feel a great sense of responsibility.
“I want to provide something that’s suitable to your culture because you’ve trusted me with your eyes, ears and minds.
“I want the audience to be happy. I want to touch their hearts, and for them to leave the concert smiling and hoping to see me in the future. I want my music to bring love, peace and hope to everybody.
“I’m going to perform something very special for my Saudi fans, so you must stay tuned. I don’t want to say any more, but I want you all to see it.”
Yanni’s visit is part of his global 2017-2018 tour, in which he will play his most popular songs from his career that began in 1984.