The Piano Guys The Piano Guys on LP
Hailing from Utah, The Piano Guys became an Internet sensation by way of their immensely successful series of strikingly original self-made music videos. 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 debut album, The Piano Guys, released on Sony Masterworks in 2012. The album features more of the imaginative mash-up arrangements that The Piano Guys are famous for, including sources ranging from Michael Jackson to Mozart, The Bourne Identity to David Guetta. It also includes an original song and innovative takes on hits by One Direction, Adele and Christina Perri.
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 three – Paul Anderson, Tel Stewart and Al van der Beek – are equally significant members of the group. With van der Beek’s studio prowess together with the inventive cinematography of Stewart and Anderson, Schmidt and Nelson have forged a fresh approach to the growing classical crossover fusion of classical and pop music that in their case has connected quietly but emotionally with a massive audience.
The album’s lead track “Titanium/Pavane” is a mash-up of French classical composer Gabriel Faure’s “Pavane” with David Guetta’s “Titanium.” “Beethoven’s 5 Secrets” merits special mention. The piece itself employs five separate melodies from the four movements of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, in conjunction with OneRepublic’s “Secrets.”
Known for their powerfully emotive, clever and inspiring takes on popular music, along with their signature move of taking their instruments (especially grand pianos) and video equipment to unbelievable places, The Piano Guys love what they do, and it shows. Five artists from different walks of life, The Piano Guys have built their own careers as a piano store owner, music producer, videographer, pianist and cellist. Together they have the tools, the passion, and the drive necessary to independently build one of the most successful music video production companies in the world. The Piano Guys put a new spin on old songs and an old spin on new songs, creating an incomparable style along the way.