Yondani Butt was born in Macau. He studied music at Indiana University and the University of Michigan. He also has a Ph.D. in Chemistry, on which subject he has published numerous research papers. As founder of Symphonie Canadiana, he has led the orchestra on major tours throughout North America. In addition, since 1983, he has held the position of Resident Conductor of the Victoria International Festival, creating the highly successful Concerti Extravaganza series. Frequently in demand as a guest conductor, Yondani Butt has recorded and performed in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Europe. He has conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, American Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic of Canada, Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, Singapore Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Japan Gunma Symphony and Het Gelders Orkest, amongst many others.
Hailed by Robert Marsh of the Chicago Sun-Times as “an outstanding talent” and acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for his many CD recordings and concert performances, Yondani Butt received an MRA Gramophone Award in the Symphony Category 1995 for his recording of Glazunov’s Sixth Symphony. He had previously won the same Award in 1986 for Rimsky-Korsakov’s Third Symphony. His recording of Glazunov’s Third Symphony is recognised by the Glazunov Society as definitive and earned him the title of Honorary Patron of the Society.