The Piano Guys: Christmas Together
Hailing from Utah, The Piano Guys became an Internet sensation by way of their immensely successful series of strikingly original self-made music videos. They’ve made over 65 since joining forces in early 2011, including their hit video, an innovative 10-handed version of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” But it’s the Guys’ highly original blend of classical music with pop that has really been the cause of an Internet phenomenon that brought them to their major label self-titled debut album released on Sony Music Masterworks in 2012. This release was followed by their sophomore album, The Piano Guys 2, holiday album, A Family Christmas, Wonders, The Piano Guys Live! and recently released Uncharted album all available now on Portrait, an imprint of Sony Music Masterworks.
The Piano Guys have performed everywhere from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to The Today Show as well have been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Buzzfeed, People Magazine, Mashable and so on.
But just who are The Piano Guys? Actually, there’s only one piano player, Jon Schmidt, and one other instrumentalist, Steven Sharp Nelson, on cello. Yet the other two - Paul Anderson and Al van der Beek - are equally significant members of the group. The Piano Guys’ name comes from Anderson’s piano store in St. George, Utah, which was called The Piano Guys. Looking for an alternative to low-yield conventional advertising, Anderson devised a Facebook promotional page and YouTube channel featuring the most famous pianist he could find – local pianist, Jon Schmidt. A self-described “New Age Classical” player, Schmidt was indeed well-established locally, thanks to eight albums and seven piano books of his song transcriptions. He also performed concerts throughout Utah, one of which featured a young guest artist, Steven Sharp Nelson, who adventurously combined traditional cello playing with percussion effects. “I was 15 when I met Jon and started playing with him,” Nelson recalls. “I had to get a ride to shows! But we’ve had a great brotherhood that’s now lasted 20 years.”