Prepare for The Piano Guys to start off the school year strong

The Piano Guys at Jorgensen Center.  File Photo

The Piano Guys at Jorgensen Center. File Photo

Whether or not you’re a fan of classical music, chances are you’ve heard one of The Piano Guys’ iconic covers or mashups that have rocketed the music group to internet and international stardom. And if you do happen to be a fan, you’ll have a chance to watch the group perform live at Jorgensen Center this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. for the center’s first show this school year. You can buy tickets online at Jorgensen’s website, or thanks to the center’s new policy for UConn students, possibly score a free or discounted ticket at the box office an hour before the show starts.  

“This will be [their] fourth appearance in concert at Jorgensen Center,” Renee Fournier, Jorgensen’s Marketing Manager, said. “They first played here in 2013.” 

The musical quartet is composed of producer Paul Anderson, pianist Jon Schmidt, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson and music producer and songwriter Al van der Beek, who all got their start together in a piano shop in southern Utah. They are famous for their reinvention of classical and pop music with masterful mashups and covers, their first being posted to Youtube in 2011 with “Michael Meets Mozart.” Now, their Youtube channel has over six million subscribers, and their most-watched video, a cover of Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years,” has over 167 million views. 

The quartet manages to stay humble and dedicated to their music despite their fame, keeping their families and musical inspirations as their priorities. With a “Story behind the song” in the bios of some of their Youtube videos, fans can see just how much thought, creativity and love goes into The Piano Guys’ work.  

The group’s music videos are known for being as breathtaking as the music that accompanies them, with Schmidt and Nelson performing in dramatic, natural settings like the Great Wall of China for “Kung Fu Panda: Cello Ascends” and the canyon cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park in “Titanium/Pavane.” However, their video theatrics don’t take away from the magic of the group’s live performances — The Piano Guys have sold out shows throughout the country and abroad, performing in high-profile venues like Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. They will be sure to bring the same energy to Jorgensen this weekend. 

With five studio albums, two Christmas collections and a live album of favorite hits under their belt, The Piano Guys’ latest release from 2018, “Limitless,” features some of their best work that will no doubt translate to exciting live performances on Saturday. The album features a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” as well as mash-ups like “Swan Lake” and Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood” or The Chainsmokers’ “Something Just Like This (feat. Coldplay)” and “Hungarian Rhapsody.” 

“Who would have ever thought four middle-aged dads from Utah filming classically influenced music in nature could ever succeed at the outset?” Nelson said in a press release about the most recent album. “That is why the name ‘Limitless’ works so well. Our favorite things is to find a way to be on the fringes of possibility. We like to combine things you would never expect to find together — but are close enough to make sense. It has been our mindset from the beginning.” 

Be sure to grab a seat at Jorgensen this Saturday to hear stunning renditions of The Piano Guys favorites like “Let It Go/Vivaldi’s Winter,” “With or Without You,” “What Makes You Beautiful” and more — I know that I’ll be there. 


Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.