The Piano Guys are an American musical group consisting of Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson, and Al van der Beek. They gained popularity through YouTube, where they posted piano and cello renditions of popular songs and classical music.
Schmidt and Nelson‘s music is accompanied by professional-quality videos shot and edited by Paul Anderson and formerly by Tel Stewart.
Paul Anderson owned a piano shop in St. George, Utah. He met musician Jon Schmidt as the latter walked in to ask if he could practice there for an upcoming concert. Months later, Paul Anderson and Tel Stewart (then just for fun) started making videos together with Jon Schmidt. It was not too long after that they did their first collaboration with Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, and Al Van Der Beek as the studio and music technician. After the five of them started collaborating the group really started to take off, producing a music video each week and posting it to YouTube.
Jon Schmidt (born 1966) is an American pianist currently residing in Bountiful, Utah. He describes his style as “new-age classical.”
He was born to German immigrants who acquainted him with the works of such composers as Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin. He began songwriting at age 11. To date, he has released eight albums and seven piano books containing transcriptions of original arrangements.
He works with Steven Sharp Nelson – The Piano Guys – which has gained fame via the internet.
Late in the year. What started as a small town ambition to sell pianos through social media had shown some promise as a standalone YouTube music video channel. We had a few videos under our belts. We had a handful of subscribers. We were building steam. We were loving it!
But one looming, sour-faced, obstinate obstacle stood in the way.
How could we sustain this? How could we keep this pace?
We had robbed too much time away from family, day jobs; we were living two lives — nocturnal and diurnal — in an attempt to write music and film videos in every spare second.
Our day jobs, including the Piano Store itself, saw a sharp decline due to negligence.
Reality hit. It hit hard.
Our music videos were not providing near enough to provide for our families, our number one priority.
They say that the only difference between a large pizza and a professional musician is that a large pizza can feed a family of four!
So we hatched this crazy idea.
What if our genesis, as official full-time “Piano Guys,” could be “crowd funded?”
What if we offered special packages to people in exchange for their support to help us get our wheels off the ground? We launched the “Founders” program. We were cautious in our optimism, but we were completely overwhelmed. The generous support of so many people gave us the wings we needed. And it gave us a boost in confidence, enthusiasm, and commitment to the people listening and watching.
Now here we are. Over fifty videos with 700 million views, four million YouTube subscribers, a million Facebook fans, and four albums with Sony. We’ve sold out shows in the U.S., Mexico, China, Germany, Canada, Singapore, Hungary, Austria, England, Scotland, France, Korea, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and Japan. And best of all, our families haven’t starved! All because of our Founders. Had it not been for your support and faith in us, we would not be The Piano Guys today.
If you’re a Founder, you know that we do all we can to ensure that our music videos are not just a “product.” We put everything we’ve got into them. All of who we are. There is a spiritual component to them. We try to “break the mold” with them. We want something on the internet that grandparents, parents, and children can enjoy. Together. Our mission has always been to lift people with what we do. Prompt a smile. Hope. Encouragement to keep practicing or to take up an instrument! A moment of escape from a world that can all too often peddle darkness on us. Life is made up of moments. Small things snowball into great things. We wanted to do something small that could help someone to be great. And if all we did was help one person it would have been worth it.
Because of you, we’ve reached people that we couldn’t dream of reaching. Many of these people have talked to us at our concerts, posted on our walls, messaged and emailed us with their stories. They are inspiring. They are miraculous. They are stories of people rekindling long lost relationships, surmounting mountainous challenges, finding meaning in life, chasing out life’s “demons,” starting and excelling at an instrument, reconnecting with God, or being emboldened in a career choice.
They are your stories. You made them happen. Thank you from all of these good people, whose souls’ worth is incalculable. Thank you from our spouses. Our children. Thank you from the bottom of everything we have and everything we aspire to be. You remain our inspiration.
Our benefactors. Our Founders.
We love you.
Please accept this video as a very small token of our appreciation for you.
Your names are printed on what we now affectionately call our “Founders’ Piano” and “Founders’ Cello!”
For your video we put together an arrangement of a super cool tune called, “A Sky Full of Stars,” by Coldplay, because we feel like the REAL stars of the Piano Guys are our Founders.
As we were writing and recording this we prayed that we could pour our sincere gratitude into each and every measure.
After we finished with the music we determined to film in a place you may recognize, the Salt Flats where we filmed “Moonlight.” What better venue than a place of our “roots” and where your names would be the “stars” of the film, starkly contrasted against the eternal white salt stretching as far as the eye can see?
In honor of Jurassic World coming out today (6/10/15), Utah-based musical group The Piano Guys perform a cello and piano version of the classic theme music from Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park.
“When you combine Michael Crichton’s imaginative writing, Stephen Spielberg’s cinematic directing, and John Williams’ transcendent composition, it’s an infallible recipe for an epic movie – now relived in the latest iteration of the series, “Jurassic World.”
We thought we’d pay tribute to this “hat trick” of artistry by arranging a “chill,” almost reverent version of John Williams’ deeply emotive theme from Jurassic Park and film it in the nearest prehistoric place we could find:
Crawdad Canyon. We hope you enjoy it!”
Jurassic World is a 2015 American science fiction adventure film directed by Colin Trevorrow. It is the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park film series. The screenplay was co-written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver,Derek Connolly, and Trevorrow. The film stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B. D. Wong, and Irrfan Khan. Wong is the only actor from any of the previous films to appear in Jurassic World.
22 years after the Isla Nublar incident, Zach and Gray Mitchell are going to visit their aunt Claire Dearing, the park operations manager of Jurassic World, a fully functional dinosaur theme park off the coast of Costa Rica.
Upon arriving on the Island, Claire is too busy to spend time with them so leaves them in the care of her assistant Zara. Simon Masrani, the park’s owner arrives and takes Claire to see their new genetically modified dinosaur, the Indominus Rex. Upon inspection he tells her he wants Owen Grady, a velociraptor expert to make sure the enclosure is adequate.
An almost reverent version of John Williams’ deeply emotive theme from Jurassic Park and film it in the nearest prehistoric place we could find: Crawdad Canyon.
We hope you enjoy it!
“Jurassic Park Theme” written by John Williams
Piano Guys Arrangement produced by Jon Schmidt
Written by Jon Schmidt, Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Performed by Jon Schmidt, Piano
Steven Sharp Nelson, Cello
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Al van der Beek at TPG Studios in Utah
I am so thrilled to share Peter Hollens & my collaboration with The Piano Guys. Such a beautiful song with a meaningful message & what an honor to work with the incredibly talented Jon Schmidt while we were in Hawaii. Enjoy!
Peter Hollens is an American singer/songwriter, producer and entrepreneur.
He has been involved with a cappella music since 1999 when he and Leo da Silva founded the University of Oregon’s a cappella group, On The Rocks, known as the first official collegiate a cappella group in Oregon. He regularly releases new music videos to his YouTube channel.
Hollens is married to Evynne Hollens, founder of the a cappella group Divisi. Evynne has her own YouTube channel, posting music videos, occasionally collaborating with her husband. On November 28, 2013, she posted a video on her channel, which revealed that she was expecting a baby.
The couple announced their baby’s name to be “Ashland James Hollens” and he was born on 31 March 2014.
We hope you enjoy our arrangement of Chris Medina’s tune, “What Are Words.”
We were inspired by this song because it was originally written as a tribute to Chris’ fiance who suffered a brain injury as the result of a car accident. Chris wouldn’t abandon her when she needed him most — the lyrics are beautiful, filled with poetic promises.
We would also like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Peter Hollens and his angel wife, Evynne whose transcendent voices gave this arrangement wings.
Thanks again for watching!!!
Title: What Are Words
As performed by Chris Medina, written by Rodney Jerkins, Andre Lindal and Lauren Christy
Arranged by Jon Schmidt, Tom Anderson, Peter Hollens & Evynne Hollens
Produced by Jon Schmidt & Peter Hollens
Peter Hollens, vocals
Evynne Hollens, vocals
Jon Schmidt, piano
The Piano Guys are an American musical group consisting of Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson, and Al van der Beek.
We all know by now that The Piano Guys love to add a healthy dose of pop culture into their videos to draw in, for lack of a better phrase, a traditionally unconventional audience into the classical music world.
They’ve battled good and evil with a “Star Wars” theme, jumped on the “Let It Go” bandwagon, and even nodded to British boy band One Direction, among many other things.
The premise of their latest video, “I Want You Bach,” asks what would happen if the 1770’s and the 1970’s traveled through space and time, colliding into an unlikely jam session.
The answer, of course, is in the video, which includes Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” mashed with several Bach pieces — Brandenburg Concertos No. 3 and 5, Two Part Invention No. 8, Minuet in G, Bourrée, and Gavotte from the French Suite No. 5, according to the video description.
Jackson 5 and Bach were funky way before Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk!
~~”I Want You Bach”~~
The Piano Guys
~~Published on Mar 17, 2015~~
Story behind the song
What if the harpsichord from the 1770’s hit headlong into the talk box from 1970’s? What if J.S. Bach and Jackson 5 met up and just jammed? Would they jive? Can you dig it? These are the kind of far out questions we asked ourselves as we laid down these licks and cut this film. We decided to put together a gig with two wigs in dandy attire and two hep-cats in some funkadelic threads to see if it would fly. (Incidentally, Steve’s 1770/1970 alter egos are “Sir Reginald von Sharp” and “Scooby” while Jon’s are “Duke Johann van Keymeister” and “Phil.”)
Presenting … “I Want You Bach” – Jackson 5’s funky “I Want You Back” mashed-up with 5 illustrious themes written by J.S. Bach. (See if you can catch them all – winner gets a free disco ball … which will be faxed to you).
All the sounds you hear were created by the instruments shown – including the words “I Want You Back/Bach” simulated by a “talk box” (popularly used in the 1970’s, but never with a cello!) Here’s how it works: Steve plays cello notes through a micro speaker built into a foot pedal, the sound then travels through a tube and into his mouth where he shapes the notes into actual words. (Google “talk box” to learn more – it’s pretty groovy.) To our knowledge the likes of electric cello, grand piano, harpsichord, Baroque cello, talk box, and kick drum have never gigged together. Until now.
It’s totally the battle of the 70’s – the 1770s and the 1970s … can you dig?
Phil is tickling the ivories of a custom-built hybrid grand piano, while Scooby shreds on a custom 5-stringed electric cello complete with a sidecar kick drum. Conversely, Sir Reginald is playing a circa-1700-replica Baroque cello (no “why don’t you fix it?” jokes, please), and Duke Johann is playing an actual harpsichord that was built and designed by Hale Centre Theatre. In fact, nearly everything you see in this video was provided by Hale Centre Theatre – from the sinking Piano/Cello platform down to the disco duds of Scooby and Phil opposite the Scarlett Pimpernel robes arrayed upon Johann and Sir Reggie.
We filmed this using 4K resolution (a huge step up from 1080p and quickly becoming the new “high def”), allowing for more freedom and flexibility to zoom in and out of static shots (which helped us create the illusion that two different versions of Jon and Steve were jamming together.)
And if you’ve read this far into the description you’re invited to either an evening of highbrow hobnobbing with Sir Reginald von Sharp and his entourage or a night of sick roller-skating with Phil and his dancing mustache.
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organization, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.
Bach’s compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over 300 sacred cantatas of which 190 survive.
His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.
I’m so excited. I was so lucky to see The Piano Guys in concert last night at The Kings Performance Art Center in Melbourne, Florida. It was a dream come true … ever since I was introduced to them by some dear friends I’ve become an ardent fan.
Last night was a wonderful experience. It was what I expected and more.
Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson where the front men during most of the concert. Paul Anderson and Al van der Beek graced us with their presence and the talent in the last song “Marching Ants” and the encore “What Makes You Beautiful”.
They were witty, down to earth, approachable, down to earth and, of course, very talented! Now, if possible I enjoy and love their music even more.
The Piano Guys are an American musical group consisting of Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson, and Al van der Beek. They gained popularity through YouTube, where they posted piano and cello renditions of popular songs and classical music. Schmidt and Nelson’s music is accompanied by professional-quality videos shot and edited by Paul Anderson.
On of the first songs they played was this “Without You“. A wonderful cover.
Here it is for your enjoyment.
~~ Without You~~
Piano/Cello Cover – ThePianoGuys
~~Uploaded on Nov 10, 2011~~
Original song written by David Guetta, Taio Cruz, Frederic Riesterer, Rico Love, Raymond Usher, Giorgio & Tuinfort Arrangement produced by Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
A special thanks to our filming location, Metcom Studios. They have an incredible studio in downtown Salt Lake City!
Ending the day with a strong, inspiring musical piece blending two styles: classic and rock.
The Piano Guys are an American musical group consisting of Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson, and Al van der Beek. They gained popularity through YouTube, where they posted piano and cello renditions of popular songs and classical music. Schmidt and Nelson’s music is accompanied by professional-quality videos shot and edited by Paul Anderson and formerly by Tel Stewart.
Jon Schmidt is perhaps one of the most relevant pianists of our time. This is a brilliant adaptation of Rachmaninoff. Another impressive work from The Piano Guys.
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music.
“When my son was starting his band at 15 years old, he liked to show me guitar and drum discoveries he found on YouTube. Having never played in a band myself, I now appreciate the coolness of things like double bass pedaling and guitar sweeps because of him. Rock meets Rachmaninoff combines 2 of my favorite musical influences:
Christmas is fast approaching. There are nine days left before the holiday is upon us. This has been quite the year. As it comes to an end, we hope that this new coming year be better in many aspects.
“It Is What It Is” will feature a special song every night as the countdown approaches.
Here is another song from one of my favorite music performers.
Piano Guys, Peter Hollens And David Archuleta Perform ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’ With 1,000 People
Though not quite the small and humble manger scene oft described in the Christmas story each holiday season, the impressive Nativity display put on earlier this month in Provo’s Rock Canyon Park still brought with it an incredible sense of wonder that truly has to be seen to be believed.
Luckily for you, that’s possible now thanks to a video released Friday by popular Utah instrumentalists The Piano Guys.
Several well-known musicians from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined together to create the Christmas music video featuring the song “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
The song is performed by The Piano Guys, Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson and Peter Hollens, as well as David Archuleta and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
The video also includes footage shot at a live nativity performed in Provo on Dec. 1 that earned the Guinness Book of World Records title for the largest live nativity. The nativity scenes feature several well-known locals, including singer Alex Boye and YouTube prankster Stuart Edge and a choir of angels, who are members of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
According to The Piano Guys, the project took more than four weeks create, and more than 1,300 people helped with the project.
The end result is an incredible musical display revolving around the manger scene and meshing in moments captured from the filming of the World Record breaking event Dec. 1, including a breathtaking visual finale.