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.
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.
Several of the group’s YouTube videos have over 20 million views, while all of them have over 750,000. As of February 2014, The Piano Guys’ YouTube channel has over 345 million total video views and about 2,500,000 subscribers.
“OUR VISION IS TO CREATE MUSIC AND VIDEOS THAT INSPIRE & UPLIFT. WHATEVER WE DO, WE PUT OUR HEART AND SOULS INTO EVERY NOTE AND FRAME.”
The deluxe version of The Piano Guys 2 comes with a DVD featuring 11 music videos.
Today we are featuring “All of Me” from their second CD with a major record label.
Jon Schmidt (born 1966) is an Americanpianist currently residing in Bountiful, Utah. He describes his style as “New AgeClassical.” 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.
I found out about Lindsey Stirling through a friend who posted her “Elements” video on Facebook. I must confess I was floored and totally mesmerized by this pixie girl! Her musical ability is out of this world, her movements while playing her music, the joy she portrays while playing the violin … all qualities that attracted me to her music. I have posted several of her videos and recently found one (in The Piano Guys Series) where she displayed a sense of humor and fun.
I would like to present Lindsey officially on this “spot”.
Ladies and gents, I give you:
“About Me: Through my entire childhood, my family struggled financially, however I would not trade my humble childhood years for anything else. It was during these years that I learned that a pair of scissors and a bottle of paint could transform a refrigerator boxes into a spaceship adventure to mars, that a tattered pink dress once put on could become a ball gown, and that eating a bowl of cereal on the living room floor with my dad was quality time.
In spite of the many limitations that could have boxed me in, it was these years that taught me to dream big, work hard and enjoy the small simple moments of life. Since then, I have learned the violin, I started film school at BYU, I went on a Mormon Mission to NYC, finished school at BYU in recreational therapy and worked in rehab centers with troubled teens.
I began to pursue a musical career when I went on America’s Got Talent in 2010. I was told by the judges and many other “professionals” in the music business that I was not marketable and that I’d never make it as a performer. That same little girl that made rockets out of boxes persevered and continues to dream big.
Through youtube I have gained a million followers worldwide. I am now a touring musician and I am living my dream.”
Since 2010, Stirling has released a self-titled album, an EP, and several singles. She performs a variety of music styles, from classical to pop and hip-hop to electronic dance music. Aside from original work, her discography contains covers of songs by other musicians and various soundtracks.
Stirling is also a YouTube sensation: her music video “Crystallize” finished as the eighth-most watched video of 2012, and her cover version of “Radioactive” with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first YouTube Music Awards in 2013.
Her YouTube channel had, as of April 2014, more than four million subscribers and 600 million total views.
At the age of five, after being influenced by the classical music records played by her father, Stirling began to study the violin. She took private lessons for twelve years. When she was sixteen, she joined a rock band in Mesquite High School with four friends called “Stomp on Melvin”. As part of her experience with Stomp on Melvin, Stirling wrote a solo violin rock song, and her performance helped her to win the state title of Arizona‘s Junior Miss and claim the Spirit Award in the America’s Junior Miss Finals competition. Stirling was also a member of Charley Jenkins Band for about a year.
~~2010–2012: America’s got Talent and debut studio album~~
In 2010, at the age of 23, Stirling was a quarter-finalist on season five of America’s Got Talent, where she was described as a “hip hop violinist”. Stirling’s performances were dubbed “electrifying” by the judges, and won the acclaim of the audience, but after she attempted to step up the dance level in her quarter-final performance, judge Piers Morgan told her: “You’re not untalented, but you’re not good enough to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time.” Sharon Osbourne commented: “You need to be in a group. … What you’re doing is not enough to fill a theater in Vegas.” In her blog, Stirling confided: “I was devastated at the results. It was painful, and a bit humiliating; however, I had to relearn where it was that I drew my strength.” Stirling decided to continue to embrace her unique style of performance, promoting herself on the Internet. In a 2012 interview she remarked: “A lot of people have told me along the way that my style and the music I do … is unmarketable. But the only reason I’m successful is because I have stayed true to myself.”
Shortly after her performance on America’s Got Talent, cinematographer Devin Graham (DevinSuperTramp) contacted her in hopes of making a YouTube video together. They agreed to shoot a music video for her song, “Spontaneous Me“. It was filmed the week of May 9, 2011. The video boosted Stirling’s popularity, and she began making music videos for her YouTube channel regularly. Graham has filmed almost all of her videos, while Stirling often does backup camera work and assists with his music videos. Stirling’s YouTube channel, Lindseystomp, which she created in 2007 and which is named after her first band Stomp on Melvin, is the main repository for her music videos. During 2011, the channel rapidly gained popularity and has over 519 million total views and over four million subscribers, as of January 2014.
Her music is featured on Pandora, Spotify, and Last.FM. Stirling also created a second YouTube channel, LindseyTime, in September 2012, in which she posts videos related to her life, vlogs, behind-the-scenes content, etc.
Since a young age, Stirling had a fascination for dance, such was her desire of taking dancing lessons and violin lessons at the time that she told on an interview with NewMediaRockstars: “…ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wished that I could dance, but my parents said, ‘You could choose violin or you could choose dance, but we can’t afford both’, and I chose violin. So this is kind of a fulfillment – it’s funny to say, but this is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
The way she impressed the judges on America’s Got Talent, apart from her mixing hip-hop and classical music on the violin, was by incorporating dancing while playing the violin, something that she does on her tours and her official music videos.
On a live-chat Stirling explained: “It is very unnatural to dance while playing the violin. I had to practice so hard to learn how to do it but now it is part of my expression and it comes naturally. I have to know a song perfectly before I can even begin to move. Once I know a song really well I can then have fun dancing.” Not only in her performances, but also with her music, dancing made a huge impact: “I loved dance music so I started with that and wrote Transcendence, Electric Daisy and Spontaneous Me.”
In October 2013, Stirling announced she would take part in season three of Dance Showdown, a dance competition web series created by DanceOn where the winner is awarded US$50,000. Stirling finished between the three finalists but didn’t win the fifty thousand dollars, despite that she received critical acclaim on her three performances with her partner Anze Skrube. One of the three judges, Laurieann Gibson, classified her second performance as “one of the best” in Dance Showdown and the last one as the best she had ever seen.
On October 1, 2013, Stirling teamed with the non-profit Atlanta Music Project to help spread appreciation of music to children who might not otherwise have the chance. The Atlanta Music Project’s mission was “to inspire social change by providing Atlanta’s under-served youth the opportunity to learn and perform music in orchestras and choirs.” For this, Stirling made available two limited edition Lindsey Stirling/The Power of Music shirts. The money collected from the selling of those shirts went directly to the Atlanta Music Project with the goal of raising enough together to provide music training for 50 children.
On March 22, 2014, Lindsey joined the team Cirque Du Soleil for the second annual One Night for One Drop in Las Vegas.The non-profit organization presented the show in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, for the celebration of The World Water Day and to expand the message of saving water is accessible to all.