Yondani Butt was born in Macau. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry, on which subject he has published numerous research papers. He studied conducting with Wolfgang Vacano (1906–1985) at Indiana University, majoring in chemistry. He continued to study conducting with Josef Blatt (1906–1999) at the University of Michigan while pursuing his chemistry degree. Hailed by Robert Marsh of the Chicago Sun Times as “an outstanding talent”, Yondani Butt has received acclamation from critics and audiences for his many CD recordings and concert performances.