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 Anderson and formerly by Tel Stewart. Their first five major-label albums The Piano Guys, The Piano Guys 2, A Family Christmas, Wonders, and Uncharted each reached number one on the Billboard Classical Albums chart.
Jon Schmidt was born to German Immigrant parents, and they gave him the gift of early education in music. Classical training fell on the fertile ground of Jon’s natural talents for music and hard work. Schmidt began composing as early as age 11, started teaching piano lessons when most people get a drivers license, and began a successful solo career in his early twenties.
Schmidt’s 20 year solo career has included many albums, performances, and awards. The Piano Guys entrapped Schmidt with their lair of beautiful pianos. Shortly thereafter, they all ran away together to create spectacular piano cello video content. Their goal is very humble—to inspire the world.
Schmidt contributes not just the on-screen piano talent. He loves to throw out all of his ideas, and is not afraid to edit and revise until he has a refined and quality product.
Jon finds his fire for the journey seeing the joy of people who hear great music. He is thrilled to reach a wider audience through his work with The Piano Guys.
Steven Sharp Nelson is a pioneer in “cello-percussion”—an alternative performance method that combines traditional, lyrical cello techniques and unconventional pizzicato and percussive technique. He began studying cello at age 8, percussion at age 12 and guitar at age 17. He has invented a new method of playing the cello that combines elements learned from each of these instruments. He obtained a degree in music from the University of Utah School of Music, graduating in 2002.
Nelson’s true cello career began when he was 15. He was recruited by Peter Breinholt to arrange string parts and perform with Breinholt’s band, Big Parade. Since then he has recorded on over 100 different albums ranging from folk & bluegrass to hip hop. He has also made his way as a solo artist. His first album Sacred Cello (2006) was atop the Billboard Charts. He has since two more solo albums that have also received significant acclaim (Tender Mercies, 2008 and Christmas Cello, 2010)
Nelson is well known for his collaborations with pianist Jon Schmidt as The Piano Guys – most particularly in their mash-up arrangement of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” and Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” a YouTube sensation. Schmidt and Nelson perform regularly together throughout the United States and the world.