TwoSet Violin is a comedy duo consisting of Australian violinists Brett Yang and Eddy Chen. The pair are best known for their musical comedy on their YouTube channel, which has reached over 3.3 million subscribers and 950 million views as of November 2021.
3 March 1992
23 March 1993
|Total views||978 million|
Updated: 18 November 2021
Brett Yang and Eddy Chen first met in a mathematics tutoring class when Yang was 14 and Chen 13. They became acquainted as the youngest members of a youth orchestra and later as students at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. In 2012, Yang debuted at Queensland Conservatorium performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. He later worked with various other Australian orchestras, including a performance at the 2014 G20 Brisbane summit, where he met several world leaders, including United States president Barack Obama. Chen was a finalist for the 2014 National Young Virtuoso Award in Queensland, and had played with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
In 2013, the duo started posting covers of pop music played on the violin on a YouTube channel. Yang said that they had viewed violin virtuosos playing covers that had garnered millions of views on YouTube, and attempted to do the same to minimal reaction. Discovering that Taiwanese-Australian violinist Ray Chen made comedic videos, they shifted their content production in a similar direction, focusing their videos on their lives at conservatory, as classical musicians and as students, which led to a dramatic increase in viewership. At the end of 2016, Yang and Chen resigned their places in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra respectively to begin performing live concerts of their own.
The TwoSet Violin YouTube channel received a Silver Play Button in 2018 for surpassing 100 thousand subscribers, and a Gold Play Button in 2019 for surpassing 1 million subscribers. Classic FM's Kyle Macdonald listed TwoSet Violin as one of the "10 ways the 2010s changed classical music forever". In January 2020, it was announced that the duo would be attending that year's Menuhin Competition, held at Richmond, Virginia, as roving reporters; the competition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 8 February 2020, TwoSet Violin live-streamed a performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto to celebrate their achievement of two million subscribers. Yang played the solo part while Chen performed an original arrangement of the orchestral component for solo violin.
In December 2020, the duo announced a temporary hiatus from YouTube while Yang addressed some health issues, and announced a slow return to making videos in January 2021. In 30 January 2021, to celebrate their achievement of 3 million YouTube subscribers, TwoSet Violin live-streamed another performance, of the Sibelius Violin Concerto, with Chen playing the solo while Yang performed an arrangement of the orchestral component for solo violin. In May 2021, they posted videos to support the Menuhin Competition.
TwoSet announced their first live performance in Brisbane, Australia on 8 September 2016 via YouTube. The act featured violin performance more in the format of a comedy act than a traditional concert.
With KickStarter as their fundraising method along with street performance in Sydney, they raised enough money to go on a worldwide tour in 2017 to 11 cities in 10 countries, in Asia and Europe including Taipei, Helsinki, and Frankfurt. In 2018, they performed in several places in the United States including New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
In October 2019, TwoSet announced another world tour where they planned to visit multiple locations in Oceania, Europe, Asia and North America. However, the tour was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and new dates have not been announced as of December 2020.
The world tour was postponed and in mid-September 2021, Twoset Violin announced that they would hold an online virtual concert to be held on 28–29 December 2021.
Videos and themes
In 2017, TwoSet Violin made a comedic reference to Ling Ling, a fictional violinist who "practices 40 hours a day". In an interview with Yle Uutiset, they described Ling Ling as the final boss of a video game: the Chuck Norris of violinists. Chen said they improvised the character from their comedy sketch video concerning a teenage violin student's tiger mom comparing the student to her friend's child. In 2018, they released a series of videos called the Ling Ling Workout. In these challenges, the duo draws a classical piece (or contemporary music) and a handicap such as playing with double speed, scordatura, playing while dancing or hula hooping, with hand positions reversed, or while upside down. Prominent violinists such as Ray Chen, Ziyu He, and Hilary Hahn have also attempted the challenge on their channel.
In July 2018, they released a series of videos in which they performed classical music using rubber chickens. In August 2018, they released a video series called "1% Violin Skills, 99% Editing Skills" in which Yang attempts to play a difficult piece, and Chen asks him to play a chromatic scale. Chen then uses video editing to piece together the notes as originally composed. Recurring themes include violin charades, playing other instruments, and viola jokes. Another popular video series consists of reviews of film and TV show scenes that feature violin playing, in which Yang and Chen critique egregiously fake performances. On April Fools' Day 2019, they claimed they discovered a new Double Violin Concerto by J.S. Bach.
In September 2018, TwoSet Violin uploaded a reaction video to a BBC News story titled "Fastest Violinist in the World", in which they challenged violinist Ben Lee's Guinness World Record claim of playing "Flight of the Bumblebee" for what they perceived to be significant inaccuracy. They satirically timed themselves purposefully playing random fast notes before declaring they had broken the world record. In April 2019, the duo similarly called out Vov Dylan, who was awarded the title of World's Fastest Violinist by the Australian Book of Records, concluding that Dylan's performance of "Bumblebee" was worse than Lee's.
- "Today is TwoSet Violinist Brett Yang's 27th Birthday! [ON-THIS-DAY]". The Violin Channel. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
- TwoSetViolin - Eddy Chen & Brett Yang – VC 20 Questions Interview. 6 August 2015. Event occurs at 0:12. Archived from the original on 14 March 2021. Retrieved 20 June 2020 – via YouTube.
What year were you born? Brett: 1992 Eddy: 1993
- "If Classical Composers Wrote Happy Birthday". 23 March 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2021 – via YouTube.
Happy Birthday Eddy!
- "Geoguessr: Classical Music Edition" – via www.youtube.com.
- "About". YouTube.
- TwoSet Violin. TwoSet Brett & Eddy talk about things they don't usually talk about... Retrieved 21 December 2018 – via YouTube.
- TwoSet Violin (23 September 2018). "Australisches Duo TwoSet Violin im Interview". Concerti.de (Interview) (in German). Interviewed by Elisa Reznicek. Archived from the original on 24 October 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
- Ball, Meghna (13 April 2017). "Brisbane YouTubers Twoset Violin and their global quest to preserve classical music". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 30 April 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "Playing Violin for Barack Obama". YouTube. Archived from the original on 14 March 2021. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
- "About – Meet Brett and Eddy". TwoSet Violin official website. Archived from the original on 17 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
- Wood, Eleanor (23 November 2016). "TwoSet Violin: The Brisbane music graduates breaking the internet". CutCommon. Archived from the original on 29 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- Sergi, Justin (12 October 2016). "Twoset Violin Offer A Guide to Understanding Conservatory Friends". WQXR. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- MacDonald, Kyle (29 December 2019). "10 ways the 2010s changed classical music forever". Classic FM. Archived from the original on 2 February 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
- "Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 Announces Competitors: 44 Violinists Selected from Record- High Applicant Pool; TwoSet Violin, YouTube Superstars and Classical-Music Comedy Duo, Attend Competition as Roving Reporters" (PDF). Richmond Symphony Orchestra (Press release). 22 January 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 February 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
- "Candidates Announced for 2020 Menuhin International Violin Competition". The Violin Channel. 22 January 2020. Archived from the original on 6 February 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
- "Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020". Menuhin Competition. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- TwoSet Violin (8 February 2020). Tchaikovsky 2 Mil Drop. Retrieved 22 September 2020 – via YouTube.
- "Brett Yang of TwoSet Violin to take a break". The Strad. Newsquest Specialist Media. 16 December 2020. Archived from the original on 16 December 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
- Niles, Laurie (16 December 2020). "TwoSet Violin Takes a Break for Health Reasons". Violinist.com. Archived from the original on 16 December 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- Lebrecht, Norman (14 January 2021). "Happy News: TwoSet Violin are back". Slipped Disc. Archived from the original on 19 January 2021. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
- Mattila, Mattias (29 January 2021). "Sibelius soi ensi yönä internetissä kymmenilletuhansille kuulijoille – asialla on klassisen musiikin Suomessakin vieraillut meemitehdas" [Sibelius will play on the Internet next night to tens of thousands of listeners - a meme factory that has also visited classical music in Finland]. Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 2 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- Rabinowitz, Chloe. "Semi-Finalists in Menuhin Competition Announced". BroadwayWorld.com.
- Channel, The Violin (18 May 2021). "NEW TO YOUTUBE | TwoSet Violin's "Secret Plan to Get Back into the Menuhin Competition"".
- "Watch the world's finest young violinists in a virtual Menuhin Competition for 2021". Classic FM.
- TwoSet Violin (8 September 2016). Thank You – via YouTube.
- "TwoSet Violin are launching a crowdfunded world tour". Classic FM (UK). 25 March 2017. Archived from the original on 6 May 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- Rochester, Marc (9 October 2017). "Classical music meets comedy". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "TwoSet Violin World Tour Los Angeles". Colburn School. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- Vanasse, Jacqueline (13 November 2017). "TwoSet Violin – Hilarious with a Cause". Violinist.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "TwoSet Violin World Tour". Helsinki Music Centre. Archived from the original on 19 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "TwoSet Violin World Tour Frankfurt - 14 October 2018". Evensi. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "TwoSet Violin World Tour – Wednesday,October 31 2018, 7 pm". Kaufman Music Center. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- TwoSet Violin [@twosetviolin] (26 September 2018). "So San Francisco sold out in one hour..." (Tweet). Retrieved 18 October 2018 – via Twitter.
- TwoSet Violin [@TwoSetViolin] (7 October 2019). "We've just released our world tour lineup! Visit twosetviolin.com/worldtour to see if we're coming to your city! Where else should we go? 👀" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "TwoSet Violin – World Tour". TwoSet Violin. Archived from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
- Niles, Laurie (24 September 2021). "Exclusive Interview with TwoSet Violin: Announcing 2021 Virtual World Tour". Violinist. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
- Matilla, Mattias (11 October 2018). "Tämän kaksikon sketsejä on katsottu somessa jo satoja miljoonia kertoja – meemien ja klassisen musiikin yhdistelmä osoittautui hittireseptiksi" [This duo's sketches have been watched hundreds of millions of times in Finland - the combination of memes and classical music turned out to be a hit recipe]. Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 10 November 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
- Kim, Alina. "TwoSet Violin Perfects Their Practice". Chicago Maroon. Archived from the original on 23 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- Betts, Richard (28 May 2019). "Social media adds new strings to musicians' bows". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 21 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- Hilary Hahn Ling Ling Workouts:
- Hilary Hahn and TwoSet Violin play Paganini while hoola-hooping (video). 3 December 2018 – via The Strad.
- Hilary Hahn does the Ling Ling Workout (video). 17 December 2018 – via The Strad.
- Johari, Aarefa (1 January 2019). "New Year smiles: Want to play like a world-class musician without actually being one? Watch this". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on 9 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- Parker, Liz (24 October 2018). "Niccolò Paganini, perhaps violin's first rock star, was born on October 27". The New Classical FM. Canada: Zoomer Media. Archived from the original on 21 October 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- Alton, Jenna (16 August 2018). "The Clean Cut: Classical musician creates impressive version of Pachelbel's Canon using rubber chickens". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 19 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- Sweeney, Chris (1 August 2018). "Wacky World of Rubber: Making music with rubber chickens". Rubber & Plastics News. Crain Communications. Archived from the original on 9 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- Santiago, Amanda Luz Henning (10 August 2018). "Please use this rubber-chicken rendition of 'Wedding March' in your upcoming nuptials". Mashable. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- TwoSet Violin. 1% Violin Skills 99% Editing Skills. Retrieved 22 December 2018 – via YouTube.
- References to Twoset Violin's professional vs. beginner videos
- Queensland Symphony Orchestra [@qsorchestra] (31 May 2018). "🙌🏻 Amazing work, HyungSuk Bae! @TwoSetViolin Professional vs Beginner Cellist Full video ➡️ youtu.be/RhXnff1daXk" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Queensland Symphony Orchestra [@qsorchestra] (18 June 2018). "👏🏻 Love your work, Phoebe Russell! @TwoSetViolin Professional vs Beginner Double Bassist Full video ➡️ youtu.be/GsH4wzmmRkE" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Viola-related videos:
- TwoSet Violin (24 May 2018). Violin vs Viola. Retrieved 10 November 2018 – via YouTube.
- TwoSet Violin (4 March 2018). Viola Gang. Retrieved 12 November 2018 – via YouTube.
- TwoSet Violin (23 November 2017). The Viola King Returns (Black Friday Sales Ad). Retrieved 12 November 2018 – via YouTube.
- TwoSet Violin (3 March 2018). Bought a Viola for Brett's Birthday!. Retrieved 10 November 2018 – via YouTube.
- MacDonald, Kyle (3 January 2019). "Actors being roasted by two professional violinists is hilariously brutal". Classic FM. Archived from the original on 21 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- Cai Xuejiao (6 March 2019). "Aussie Violinists Say Chinese Celebs Fiddled With the Truth". Sixth Tone. Archived from the original on 21 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- Davis, Elizabeth (1 April 2019). "These are the best musical April Fools of 2019". Classic FM. Archived from the original on 21 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- Lebrecht, Norman (10 November 2018). "Why be the fastest violinist if you mostly play wrong notes?". Slipped Disc. Archived from the original on 9 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- "Violinist Vov Dylan plays a record-breaking 38.01 second Flight of the Bumblebee at Dee Why". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney, Australia. Archived from the original on 14 March 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- TwoSet Violin (26 April 2019). New "fastest violinist in the world" is even faster (and more sacrilegious). Retrieved 5 July 2019 – via YouTube.
- "Inside TwoSet Apparel, the Streetwear Line by The Duo behind TwoSet Violin". 27 April 2021.
- "The Planets align as TwoSet Violin launches fashion range".
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