Yannis Kyriakides was born in Limassol, Cyprus in 1969 , emigrated to Britain 1975 and has been living in the Netherlands since 1992.
He studied musicology at York University, and later composition with Louis Andriessen. He currently lives is Amsterdam with his wife and two sons. As a composer and sound artist he looks for ways of creating new forms and hybrids of media that problematise the act of listening. The question as to what music is actually communicating is a recurring theme in his work and he is often drawn to the relation between perception, emotion and language and how that defines our experience of sound.
In the last years his work has been exploring different relations between words & music, both in concert compositions and installations through the use of systems of encoding information into sound, synthesizing voices and projected text. His has written over a hundred compositions, comprising mostly of music theatre, multimedia and electro-acoustic works for chamber groups and large ensembles.
His work has been performed worldwide at many of the prominent music festivals, and by many leading contemporary music ensembles. His opera An Ocean of Rain, opened the Aldeburgh Music Festival in 2008. He has been featured composer at both Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2007 and November Music 2011 (NL).
In the last years his sound installation work has been receiving more exposure and he contributed two works for the the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011.Prizes have included the Gaudeamus prize in 2000 for ‘a conSPIracy cantata’, a French Qwartz award for the CD ‘Antichamber’, the Dutch Toonzetters prize for ‘Paramyth’, the Willem Pijper prize for ‘Dreams of the Blind’, an honorary mention at the Prix Ars Electronica for the CD ‘Wordless’ and in 2014 the first prize in the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers for 'Words and Song Without Words'.Together with Andy Moor and Isabelle Vigier he founded and runs the CD label for new electronic music 'Unsounds' . He is a founding member of the ensemble Maze, and teaches composition at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague.