Watch Sonya Belousova play Mario Bros. themes on a Nintendo piano

sonya belousova plays super mario theme piano player screen shot 2015 07 29 at 10 47 24 pm
Classical pianists may no longer be the rockstars of the musical scene in the same way they were in centuries past, but they can still put on a decidedly impressive show. While pianists, violinists, and other instrumentalists often epitomize the struggling artist, faced not only with dwindling job opportunities, but also with a generally unappreciative, disengaged audience, every once in a while, an artist really hits the jackpot in terms of bridging the gap between the art form and the common audience.

In the case of Sonya Belousova, it seems that this piano virtuoso may have just found the sweet spot. In a rather gimmicky but nonetheless impressive showing of skill, Belousova plays a series of super mario themes on a piano thats been aesthetically transformed into a Nintendo. The music is certainly far more accessible, if not more entertaining, than playing Liszt’s Concert Etudes on a 9-foot Steinway.

In a mix of more than 50 videos, all available on YouTube, Russian-born pianist Sonya Belousova shows off her more whimsical side, performing everything from the Super Mario Bros. medley to the Doctor Who theme. Not only does Belousova give brilliant performances of these pieces, she’s also responsible for their excellent arrangements — indeed, the renowned pianist is also known for her compositional chops, and has won “multiple international composition and piano competitions, including the first prize at the Rodion Shchedrin’s Piano & Composition Competition.” She was also awarded the Russian Ministry of Culture Award, deemed “the most prestigious Russian ward granted on the basis of exceptional talent.” 

The videos, which all take more traditional piano repertoire out of its comfort zone, both in terms of the types of compositions being performed and the setting, feature Belousova playing unexpected but familiar pop culture tunes, all on creatively decorated or colored pianos. The entire effect is somewhat theatrical, making the viewing experience one that is perhaps more commonly entertaining than hearing a Carnegie Hall performance of a Beethoven concerto.

For example, in Belousova’s Game of Thrones theme video, the pianist appears dressed as Daenerys Targaryen against an almost movie set-like background. No surprise considering Belousova has had her music appear in films that “have been premiered at the largest film festivals across the globe, including the Cannes International Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.” These videos, all produced by Stan Lee of Marvel Comics, have garnered millions of views, and also gained her international recognition within the Comic Con community.

So while classical pianists may not seem to have all that much in common with cosplay and gamers, one woman is bridging the gap, and bringing beautiful music to at least a portion of the masses.


Brian Eno sets out to change music (again) with Bloom: 10 World

We always felt that Bloom was a musical system that could be developed further -- it was as if we’d built a CD player and only ever released one CD. For this release, we’ve created ten new worlds, starting with a reimagined version of…
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Home Theater

Plex amps up its music offerings with tight integration with Tidal

Plex may not be the first platform you think of for music streaming, but that may be about to change. The popular media server has added Tidal to its growing list of features, letting Plex users integrate their collections with Tidal's.
Smart Home

Apple Music hits the Amazon Echo. Is the cold war over?

It's about time. Amazon and Apple seem to have called a truce as Amazon agrees to add Apple Music to an ever-growing line of streaming music services on its Echo smart speakers that includes competitors like Spotify.

Enthusiast alert: Get up to 67% off Polk Audio speakers at Adorama

Any time is a good time to upgrade your home theater sound system, which makes Adorama's Polk LSI Blowout Weekend Sale particularly tempting. Adorama has discounts up to 67 percent on Polk Audio's top-of-the-line LSiM Series for…
Home Theater

An acclaimed Apple analyst says the new AirPods are coming in 2019

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.

You may soon be able to listen to your own songs on Spotify’s Android app

If you love Spotify's streaming, but also have a large collection of niche music, then it can be hard to marry your two passions. Thankfully, Spotify appears to be testing the ability to import local songs to its Android app.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.

Block out the sun and drown out the haters with Bose’s new AR sunglasses

Bose has announced its quirkiest listening device yet, a pair of headphone-integrated sunglasses that allow you to meander the brightest places with your favorite tunes in tow. Called the Frames, the glasses will sport 3.5 hours of battery.
Home Theater

Spotify Wrapped reveals rad facts about your musical tastes and habits

The website may be a bit tough to find at first, but Spotify Wrapped tells you awesome facts about your year in listening. From how many minutes you spent jamming out to your top artists, and beyond, there's a lot to dig into.