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Steven Sharp Nelson

Steven Sharp Nelson

World Renowned Composer, Storyteller & Cellist of “The Piano Guys”

Steven Sharp Nelson

World Renowned Composer, Storyteller & Cellist of “The Piano Guys”


Steven Sharp Nelson is an award winning, Billboard chart-topping, YouTube total ROCK STAR, but in a cellist sort of way. His creative content is watched and streamed over 3 MILLION TIMES EVERY DAY. Steven’s unique and innovative musical style has earned him platinum records in multiple countries and sold out iconic concert halls on every continent, but his compositional prowess is only the beginning.

Steven graduated in music and then pursued a master's degree in public administration from the University of Utah. His voracious appetite for learning and his ADHD, which he titles his “super power,” propelled him through careers in venture capital, nonprofit management, creative writing, and in a meteorically successful group called “The Piano Guys.” His knack for powerful storytelling, comical vulnerability, musical analogies, and love for social psychology has made him a keynote favorite around the world.

He’s a TED speaker and has been a guest on the Today Show, the Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and has performed for the President of the United States. His professional passion is rooted in being a spokesman for creativity, the worth of a soul, and pronoia. More than anything, Steve loves being a dad.

He and his musical soulmate, Julie, have four children that all play instruments – and on some days they even enjoy it! He is a vehement advocate for music education, a connoisseur of Thai food, and a moderately professional pickleball player, depending on how good his doubles partner is.

Speaker Videos

Spiritual Burnout: The Parable of the Dishwasher — Steven Sharp Nelson at Restore

Steven Sharp Nelson: How to find peace with loss through music | TED

ADHD: Music to my Ears, Steven Sharp Nelson, StudyZen, Utah Tech Week

Speech Topics


Steven LOVES to resonate with his audience. He is a uniquely talented, self-made success story with household-name status in his genre and has cumulatively performed and spoken to over 2 million people over his career of 20 years. He is no stranger to the stage and does not fear a challenge. If you have a topic that needs addressing, Steven and his cellos, his treasure trove of stories coupled with his approachable style, steeped in research and personal experiences can address just about any topic that your company or organization may need to dissect, excel in, or even diffuse.

The Power of Creativity

Steven Sharp Nelson has defied music industry norms and found unprecedented success as an outlier, becoming one of the most watched musicians in history. He’ll share stories from nearly two decades of experience selling out every notable concert hall, filming music videos on the Seven Wonders of the World, and racking up over 2 BILLION views and streams. He’ll also share research and talk about his struggles, holding onto his “why” and how his core values and the power of creativity have often saved him from the brink of personal ruin. Steven will take you on a journey of self-discovery, culminating in understanding how creativity can turn weakness into strength, crisis into crescendo, and stagnation into motivation.

ADHD: Music to My Ears

ADHD is a super power. How else would an ordinary “dorky dad” become one of the most watched musicians in the world? Utilizing his cello and his world-renowned creative craft, Steven Sharp Nelson will serenade you with endearing storytelling and song, sharing his personal journey with ADHD. He’ll engage you with scientific research, hilarious video clips, and introspective music that will supercharge your outlook on the positive landscape ahead for ADHD and its gifted community.

Turning Crisis Into Crescendo

Creativity and crisis seem to be enharmonic. Why were Beethoven’s finest works created on the heels of personal devastation? What do we do when our art seems to miss more than it hits? Or when burnout turns what we love into what we loathe? In his signature style that has earned worldwide acclaim, Steven shares scientific data corroborated by heartwarming and hilarious stories from his roller coaster career as a cello-playing “Piano Guy,” all mixed into live musical performances of favorites and special tunes rarely heard. Journey with him as he offers ideas on how to turn a midlife crisis, a faith, health, or an artistic crisis into Crescendo.

Creative Burnout & the Motivation Goldmine

Not “feeling it?” You’re not alone. Motivation is an elusive, often misunderstood feeling that we give far too much credit. Take it from a cellist who sounded awful for the first THREE YEARS of learning his instrument! Waiting around for motivation to show up is a primary cause of creative, career, or emotional burnout. In this talk Steven will regale you with the tale of channeling his ADHD and making friends with failure to eventually play on the Wonders of the World, Sell out Carnegie, Red Rocks and Royal Albert Hall, and become one of the most watched musicians in the world. It wasn’t motivation that got him up in the morning. It was something that will surprise you.

Spiritual Burnout: The Parable of the Dishwasher

What is behind the decline of organized religion and the rise of the “nones” – those who have parted ways with it? And why, despite this trend, is faith in the United States still astoundingly strong with over 80% of the population still professing a belief in God? Weaving social science research, personal stories, powerful music, and comical, self-deprecating vulnerability, Steven explores the power of faith, why its still important and what we can do to make it an inclusive, community building force for good.


We’re more connected than ever; and yet, we’re more disconnected than ever. Modernity and technology have made everything more convenient and comfortable. The significant events occurring in the lives of our family, best friends, and even strangers are instantly at our fingertips. However, mental illness, loneliness, and suicide rates have drastically increased since the inception of social media. Dating is now considered an antiquated social system. Online algorithms now are commonly determining whether someone is the right “fit” for you or not and it is often wrong. On average, young people are taking far longer to choose a career and once they are in it they are far less likely to stay there for long. Small talk in social settings breeds as much fear as public speaking. Someone ringing your doorbell strikes panic rather than delight! The answer to all of these prodigious dilemmas is in one simple word: resonance. In this talk Steven will suggest ways to assess the connections you have with yourself and the people in your life – are they healthy and thriving? Are they part of your purpose and ultimate happiness? Using melodic analogies, personal stories, humor and musical performance, Steven will guide you through why RESONANCE is so important in your workplace, in your home, in your relationships, and how you can tap into its power to find more fulfillment, success, and lasting happiness.

Can Music Find Someone You’ve Lost?

Personal loss is affecting more and more of us than ever before. Twenty years ago, serious health problems and diagnoses were seemingly far removed from most of our lives. Now, everyone has either lost someone to a tragic illness or is even experiencing a health crisis themselves. Because of this, hope has been harder to come by, within vital relationships words have been left unsaid, or emotional empty spaces have proven fruitlessly unfillable. Music can help. Steven uses powerful stories and emotionally compelling melodies and harmonies to enter a visualization exercise intent upon mollifying all of these dilemmas.