Yannis Xylas was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. He studied piano with Nikos Astrinidis and received his Diploma with Honors from the Macedonian Conservatory of Music. He has performed extensively in Greece, mainly in concerts for Two Pianos, premiering W.Bolcom's RECUERDOS in Greece, among other works, a concert that was televised. He was also rehearsal pianist and assistant chorus master for the Lyrical Opera Chorus of Thessaloniki for six years.
He currently resides in New York and has been associated with Mid-America Productions (American premiere of Theodorakis' s opera Elektra, Ermione and Opera Aegean), Opera Orchestra of New York, New York Grand Opera and Lubo Opera (American premiere of Kalman's 1928 Operetta Die Herzogin von Chicago) as rehearsal pianist, chorus master and assistant conductor. In 1999 he made his Lincoln Center (Avery Fischer Hall) debut in New Yorkin the triple capacity of performer, orchestrator and artistic director in a concert featuring Greek classical music. He also appeared in Washington's Kennedy Center in a similar concert, bringing Greek music to the Center for the first time.
He has performed extensively in the USA, Greece, India and Spain, collaborating with singers, instrumentalists and orchestras, mastering an extensive repertoire of opera, oratorio, operetta, lied and specializing in rarely performed music and Greek Classical music. As an organist he has played the great organs of St. Patrick' s Cathedral and St. Bartholomew's. He is also vice president of the Hellenic Music Foundation and a freelance orchestrator.
Last, but not least, he holds a Geology Degree from the Aristotelean University of Thessaloniki and a Graduate
Gemologist Diploma. He is also featured in theInternational Biographical Center's "Who is Who in the 21st Century"