Cellist recounts a tragic week with the Piano Guys

Cellist recounts a tragic week with the Piano Guys


norman lebrecht

October 30, 2016

Steven Sharp Nelson has written an open letter about the heartbreaking open-country search for Annie Schmidt, daughter of a fellow-member of the Piano Guys:

This has been a week I never want to remember, nor forget.

My heart is broken in two.

I can’t adequately express the anguish I felt as I watched my friend, my brother, run up river, fighting against an ice cold current, shouting his daughter’s name at the stoic river banks on each side—straining his voice above the din of the white water.

White noise from rushing water typically calms and lulls the mind. But instead, for us, it stirred up intense anxiety. A panicked helplessness. No one should ever have to feel this way. Especially a father desperately searching for his daughter.

img_0446-jpgOur search started on trails but quickly transitioned off trail, where we soaked ourselves in rain-encumbered underbrush — often above our waists. Many scaled up and down cold, unforgiving slopes. There was an urgency — we had to shake off the sense that everything started to look the same. The sheer vastness of the area threatened to overwhelm our senses. With Annie’s precious life on the line we couldn’t leave one stone unturned. But there were so many stones to turn. Worn down by weather, strain, sleeplessness and unease, we plowed through rocks and trees one agonizing step at time…

Read the full letter here.


  • Ruby Jean Kreger says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I listen to Piano Guys everyday and I feel like you are a part of my life. I can’t imagine the pain Jon and his family are going through. I needed to offer you my sincerest condolences. I have been praying to God for the family. I wish I could do more than just these words. I do admire the strength the family has with their faith and love. May God bless them all.

  • Zarina says:

    Beyond the darkness comes light guiding us forward to all things bright