The Trans-Siberian Orchestra: From Humble Beginnings


The TSO family performs both on stage and in the audience to provide the ultimate entertainment experience

The world as we know it today possesses over one thousand genres of music and is home to millions of musically inclined artists including composers, songwriters, and producers.  What if there was just one person among this vast musical population that offered the perfect amalgamation of voice and instrument?  There just so happens to be one, and its creator originated right here in the US—from one of America’s largest economic powerhouses: New York City.  When producer and composer Paul O’Neill first conceived the idea for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), he did just that; he gave birth to an infant that would one day mature into one of the world’s greatest musical titans of its time.  Through his creation, this legendary composer has been able to flawlessly marry the melodious elegance of a symphony with the stimulating excitement of a rock concert.  In building his breathtakingly massive 30- man band that consists of ten lead singers, several  guitarists, violinists, keyboardists, bass players, drummers, composers, an illustrator, and an awe-inspiring storyteller,  O’Neill allegedly “wanted to take the very best of all forms of music [he] grew up on and merge them into a new style” (“Biography”).

The TSO has been touring since 1999, gracing the world with their unique flavor of music; they have performed multiple different shows over the last 15 years all over Europe, Canada, and almost every major city in the US.  In an effort to offer their audiences the best performance possible, the TSO works diligently to acquire the latest and greatest stage equipment available.  As stated by Mr. O’Neill, “We have two stages—with pyro, light and lasers—on both sides of the arena, as well as in the crowd and the best sound we can find…There’s no second-class seats at a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. I want people to walk out of our shows speechless…still not believing what they have seen was possible” (“Biography”).

Illuminated by a fantastic display of lights, lasers, and projections is the talented family that is TSO.  All of these individuals—the instrumentalists, the vocalists, and the technicians that scurry to work behind the scenes—seamlessly pull themselves together as a team time and time again in order to produce a wonderful experience for their listeners on and off the stage.  The TSO family encompasses nearly 130 people.

Since its creation in 1998, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra has grown tremendously, changing the lives of many and beautifully impacting millions more.  O’Neill’s passion for his work is made evident within some of his statements such as, “I’ve always believed that music has the power to transport and transform.  The original concept of Trans-Siberian Orchestra was how to make music have the most emotional impact. We always try to write melodies that are so infectious they don’t need lyrics and lyrics so poetic that they don’t need a melody, but when you combine the two together they create an alloy where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Once those songs are woven together into a tapestry they create a story which gives each song a third dimension” (“Biography”).  Without question, the TSO has a plethora of talent to offer the public, and that talent is tightly stitched together by the love every musician shares for one another.  “This is a group—a constantly morphing group—of extremely creative and talented individuals who are always trying to raise the bar of where a band can take its audience sonically, visually and emotionally. With that as our core ideal, the possibilities are endless” (“Biography”).

Works Cited:

“Biography.”  Trans-Siberian.  Working Graphics, n.d.  Web.  16 Jan. 2014.