Kurt Hugo Schneider
Kurt Hugo Schneider
They both later attended Wissahickon High School. He is of German and Austrian descent on his father's side but does not speak German. Schneider has an older sister who is a classical pianist. He graduated as class Valedictorian from Wissahickon, and magna cum laude from Yale University in 2010 with a degree in mathematics and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Schneider played for Yale's chess team.
He currently holds a USCF Elo rating of 2235 and can play multiple games of chess blindfolded simultaneously. He played against Magnus Carlsen at the CES 2014 HRM Chess Tournament, hosted by Nordic Semiconductor in Las Vegas. He is also a self-taught musician. According to Business Insider and SocialBlade, he is believed to make over a six-figure income from YouTube. Schneider began collaborating with Tsui while both were in high school and continued while they were at Yale; Schneider matriculated a year before. He produced videos of Tsui singing covers and medleys, and has since made an online musical series (College Musical) and produced original songs. They garnered wide media attention with a video of a Michael Jackson medley.
This video remains the 9th most viewed (more than 34 million) on Schneider's YouTube channel KurtHugoSchneider. This medley is one of several in which Schneider, using video editing, creates the illusion of a one-man a cappella choir, with Tsui covering lead and backing vocals, playing multiple versions of himself. Their medley videos have been described by Time as a combination of Glee and Attack of the Clones. The viral videos led to a few appearances on national television, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
On February 3, 2011, Schneider's video of Tsui covering Hold It Against Me, in which Tsui sang and played the piano with Schneider on percussion, was featured on Britney Spears' official website. The popularity of their videos has encouraged the duo to branch out to other projects. Shooting for an independent film, College Musical: The Movie, based upon their online musical series, has been completed in the summer of 2010 and the film was released September 3, 2014. A series of behind-the-scenes videos for the movie, filmed and narrated by Nick Uhas, has been released on YouTube. Since September 2010, Schneider and Tsui have also begun to release videos of original songs and in May 2013, Sam Tsui's debut original album, "Make It Up", was released. Schneider has also made music videos in collaboration with other artists.
Popular videos include a Miley Cyrus medley sung by Christina Grimmie, a duet between Tsui and Grimmie singing Just a Dream (the most viewed video on 'KurtHugoSchneider', with over a hundred and twenty million views), and a Starcraft-themed parody video, with Husky, of Baby. He has also parodied the infamous "Friday" by Rebecca Black with his variation being known as "Void Rays". He has collaborated with Tiffany Alvord on a Taylor Swift Medley and Matisse on a Medley of Rihanna songs. He has also collaborated with Max Schneider on a number of occasions: for example he directed a Bruno Mars medley for Max Schneider & Victoria Justice, a Maroon 5 Medley and a Christmas Medley.
Schneider also co-wrote 'Standing In China' with Max Schneider for Cody Simpson's album Paradise. Schneider was also an associate producer for a musical admissions video for Yale, which features a cast consisting of Tsui and fellow Yale students. He has also performed a cover of Beauty and the Beat by Justin Bieber with Alex Goot and Chrissy Costanza from Against the Current as well as a cover of Counting Stars by OneRepublic and a cover of Heart Attack by Demi Lovato. In 2013, Schneider and Coca-Cola created music videos featuring creative covers of two 2013 singles: Calvin Harris' "Feel So Close" and Of Monsters and Men's "Little Talks" for a campaign called "The Sounds of AHH". Commercial edits of the singles premiered on the inaugural episode of season 13 of American Idol on January 14, 2014 on FOX. In the two new versions, recreated by Schneider, he is shown making the track playing only Coca-Cola bottles, glasses and cans. In addition, "Feels So Close" features the vocals of Sam Tsui whereas on the track "Little Talks", he is accompanied musically by beatboxing cellist Kevin Olusola.
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