Artist Profiles: Savina Yannatou

Savina Yannatou – Photo by Maarit Kytoharju

Savina Yanatou was born on March 16, 1959 in Athens, Greece. She studied song with G. Georgilopoulou at the National Conservatory and with S. Sakkas at the “Workshop of Vocal Art”, in Athens. She attended postgraduate studies (Performance and Communication Skills) at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, with a scholarship awarded by the Mousigetis Foundation.

Her professional career as a singer started while still a student, when she sang for the very successful and until today highly respected daily program of the Greek National Radio 3 Lillipoupoli under the direction of the famous composer Manos Hadjidakis.

After that, she performed entechno (artful) Greek songs, collaborating with well-known Greek composers and also covered contemporary opera and music. Later, she focused on medieval, renaissance and Baroque music.

In the early nineties she started experimenting with different vocal techniques in free improvisation. Parallel to that, she started a collaboration with a number of Thessaloniki-based musicians, who at that occasion founded the group Primavera en Salonico, under the direction of Kostas Vomvolos.

Savina Yannatou

With Primavera en Salonico, Savina recorded – and later performed – “Primavera en Salonico”-Sephardic Folk Songs from Salonica-, “Songs from the Mediterranean” , the “Virgin Maries of the World” and “Terra Nostra” (all released by Lyra-Musurgia Graeca). The “Virgin Maries of the World” was released in the USA by Sounds True under the name Mediterranea. ECM released Terra Nostra.

Savina Yannatou has also composed her own music and songs (a.o. “Rosa das Rosas” and “Dreams of the mermaid” both released by Musurgia Graeca), as well as music for theater (Medea, performed in 1997 by the National Greek Theatre), video art and dance theater. She has released and/or participated in numerous albums.

Savina Yannatou – photo by Marco de Luca

Savina has also been involved with theater and dance as a co-producer and singer-actor in dance-theater plays that include traditional songs, myths and fairy tales of the Mediterranean.

Savina Yannatou and Primavera en Salonico have been giving concerts all over the world since 1996. This includes the whole of Europe, the United States, Israel and Taiwan, at some of the most prestigious venues.

Discography:

Σαμποτάζ – Sabotage (Lyra, 1981)
’62 (Lyra, 1983)
Η Ηχώ Και Τα Λάθη Της – The Echo And The Mistakes (Sirius, 1985)
Οδυσσέας Στο Ποτάμι – Ulysses In The River (Sirius, 1985)
Ζει Ο Βασιλιάς Αλέξανδρος; – Is King Alexander Living? (Lyra, 1986)
Μίλα Μου Για Μήλα – Talk to Me Apples (Sirius, 1986)
Νέα Εκδρομή – New Excursion (Lyra, 1986)
Μαρία Ντολόρες Παρελθόν (Sirius, 1990)
Ερωτική Πρόβα – Erotic Rehearsal (Columbia, 1991)
Spring In Thessaloniki (Folk Songs) – Primavera En Salonico (Lyra, 1994)
Masko (Chmantpon, 1994)
Anapnoes – Breath (Lyra, 1997)
Virgin Maries of the World (Lyra, 1999)
Mediterranea: Songs of the Mediterranean (Sounds True, 2000)
Pao Na Po Sto Sinefo (Kinesis Inc., 2002)
Terra Nostra (Lyra, 2003)
Rosa das Rosas (Lyra, 2003)
Traditional Lullabies (Nanourismata, 2003)
Sumiglia (Lyra, 2005)
Tutti Baci (EGE / Warner Music, 2006)
Songs of an Other (ECM, 2008)
Songs of Thessaloniki (ECM, 2015)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.
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