One Direction and Mozart: are The Piano Guys the missing link?

20 July 2012, 14:25 | Updated: 20 July 2012, 15:04

What do Mozart and Harry Styles have in common? Their music might be very different, but YouTube stars The Piano Guys are taking on a wide range of influences in their classical music mashups.

To the average listener, the works of Mozart and X-Factor boy band One Direction may seem incompatible. But The Piano Guys, who have received more than 110million YouTube views, are adamant they can change that with their quirky album of classical standards and top 40 hits.

Their latest track is a reworking of What Makes You Beautiful, by British boy band and resident heartthrobs One Direction, reworked into a classical-style quintet and played on just one instrument. Each member of the five-piece group takes a section of the piano and plays it as an individual part in the harmony.

The group, who are rumoured to be signing a record contract with the same label as classical superstars Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang, Sony Masterworks, specialise in creating pop music with a classical twist. Other works include Moonlight, inspired by Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, Michael Meets Mozart, a Michael Jackson-Mozart mashup, and Rockmaninoff, a modern take on Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C♯ minor.

“We want to take that music to the world and make a difference,” they said. “We like to put a new spin on classic stuff and a classic spin on new stuff.”

The group said they put their heart and soul into every video they create, to inspire a wider audience – whether they are classical music lovers or ‘Directioners’. Their YouTube Hits album is out now, but the group also produce sheet music for aspiring pianists and cellists.