Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson, and Al van der Beek, all of whom are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, comprise the American musical group known as The Piano Guys. Their immense success is attributed to their series of impressive self-made music videos of piano and cello renditions of popular songs and classical music which they publish on YouTube.
The Piano Guys joined YouTube on 25 March 2008, and as of late 2015, their YouTube channel has amassed over 4.2 million subscribers, and over 771 million views. Since early 2011, they have made and published 50-plus music videos which include an ingenious multi-handed rendition of “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, and a spectacular reinvention of the hit song “Let It Go” from the Disney movie Frozen. To date, the Utah-based classical-pop group has released four major label albums on Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks: The Piano Guys, The Piano Guys 2, A Family Christmas, and Wonders.
According to a recent article posted on the LDS Living.com website, “The four talented dads from Utah, have climbed the Great Wall of China for their craft, landed atop Billboard charts, sold out tour dates around the world, accrued a massive social media following and scored YouTube viewership at 730 million-plus views.” On 13 November 2015, the group reached a new career milestone with the release of their first live album appropriately titled The Piano Guys – Live! The deluxe live album set features live audio which was recorded at their sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and live video from their sold-out concert at the outdoor amphitheater, Red Rocks in Colorado. In addition, on 3 October 2015, The Piano Guys released a music video dedicated to their fans called “When Stars and Salt Collide” which is their take on Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars.”
In the LDS Living.com article, Steven Sharp Nelson commented on the experience that the group had performing live at Carnegie Hall:
Playing Carnegie’s stage was an unbelievable experience for us. As we stepped out onto the same wood that has supported the feet of so many “Greats” we were filled with an amalgam of awe, intimidation, and gratitude. And to share the stage with artists we love and admire – Peter Hollens, Julie Nelson and Alex Boyé was sublime… We’re thrilled we had the opportunity to record this experience and give it back to everyone that made this journey possible.
Also featured as one of the audio tracks is The Piano Guys’ very own Al van der Beek as he makes his vocal debut on a beautiful rendition of “Father’s Eyes.”
Speaking about the group’s incredible experience at Red Rock, Jon Schmidt said:
Our favorite part of our shows is the chance to interact with the audience. Never has this opportunity been grander than at Red Rocks. Playing to a sea of people ebbing and flowing between ancient red rock walls that seemed to scrape the sky was unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Capturing it on film took a mountain of effort, utilizing 30 cameras, a plethora of microphones and more people than we’ve ever had backstage. With this live DVD/internationally syndicated TV program we hope we can pull people in to experience this unforgettable night with us.
In addition to the release of their new live album, The Piano Guys continue to tour the world, and in the spring of 2016, they will celebrate another first as they make their way through Canada on their first national tour of the country. Listed in the table below are the upcoming tour dates for their continuing North America Tour, as well as their 2016 Canadian tour.
|December 1||Adler Riverside Theater||Davenport, IA|
|December 2||The Orpheum Theatre||Sioux City, IA|
|December 3||Embassy Theater||Fort Wayne, IN|
|December 4||Old National Events Plaza||Evansville, IN|
|December 5||Miller Auditorium||Kalamazoo, MI|
|March 9||Northrup Auditorium||Minneapolis, MN|
|March 10||Fox Theater||St. Louis, MO|
|March 11||Riverside Theater||Milwaukee, WI|
|March 12||State Theater||Cleveland, OH|
|March 14||Fox Theater||Detroit, MI|
|March 15||Ryman Theater||Nashville, TN|
|March 16||Midland Theater||Kansas City, MO|
|March 18||Bayou Theater||Houston, TX|
|March 19||Verizon Theater||Dallas, TX|
|May 11||Centre in the Square||Kitchner, ON|
|May 12||Sony Center||Toronto, ON|
|May 13||St. Denis Theatre||Montreal, QC|
|May 14||TD Place||Ottawa, ON|
|May 16||Centennial Concert Hall||Winnepeg, MB|
|May 17||Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium||Calgary, AB|
|May 18||Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium||Edmonton, AB|
|May 20||Queen Elizabeth Theatre||Vancouver, BC|
|May 21||Spokane Arena||Spokane, WA|
|July 12||Usana Amphitheatre||Salt Lake City, UT|