TSO are known for their elaborate live shows which employ lights, lasers and fog machines.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Also known as TSO
Origin Tampa, Florida, United States
Symphonic metal progressive rock heavy metal Christmas hard rock.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is an American rock band founded around 1993 by producer, composer, and lyricist Paul O’Neill, who brought together Jon Oliva and Al Pitrelli (both members of Savatage) and keyboardist and co-producer Robert Kinkel to form the core of the creative team. The band gained in popularity when they began touring in 1999 after completing their second album, The Christmas Attic, the year previous. In 2007, the Washington Post referred to them as “an arena-rock juggernaut” and described their music as “Pink Floyd meets Yes and The Who at Radio City Music Hall.” TSO has sold more than 10 million concert tickets and over 10 million albums. The band has released a series of rock operas: Christmas Eve and Other Stories, The Christmas Attic, Beethoven’s Last Night, The Lost Christmas Eve, their two-disc Night Castle and Letters From the Labyrinth. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is also known for their extensive charity work and elaborate concerts, which include a string section, a light show, lasers, “enough pyro to be seen from the International Space Station”, moving trusses, video screens, and effects synchronized to music.

Both Billboard Magazine and Pollstar have ranked them as one of the top ten ticket-selling bands in the first decade of the new millennium. Their path to success was unusual in that TSO is the first major rock band to go straight to theaters and arenas, having never played at a club, never having an opening act and never being an opening act. O’Neill died on April 5, 2017.

Paul O’Neill has managed and produced rock bands including Aerosmith, Humble Pie, AC/DC, Joan Jett, and Scorpions, later producing and co-writing albums by the progressive metal band Savatage, where he began working with Jon Oliva (who had left Savatage to spend time with his family and take care of personal matters), Al Pitrelli and Robert Kinkel. O’Neill took his first steps into rock music in the 1970s when he started the progressive rock band Slowburn, for whom he was the lyricist and co-composer. What was intended to be the band’s debut album was recorded at Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios and engineered by Dave Wittman. Although Wittman’s engineering was capturing the exact sound O’Neill was hearing in his head, O’Neill was having trouble with it because many of his melodies were between two and three octaves. Rather than releasing an album that he was not happy with, he shelved the project, but continued working in the industry at Contemporary Communications Corporation (also known as Leber & Krebs), company at the time.

Over the years, O’Neill continued to work as a writer, producer, manager, and concert promoter. In 1996, he accepted Atlantic Records’ offer to start his own band. He built the band on a foundation created by the marriage of classical and rock music and the artists he idolized (Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Queen, Yes, The Who, and Pink Floyd, and hard rock bands such as Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin and the multiple lead vocalists of the R&B groups the Temptations and the Four Tops). He brought in Oliva, Kinkel, and Pitrelli to help start the project. O’Neill has stated, “My original concept was six rock operas, a trilogy about Christmas and maybe one or two regular albums.”

Their debut album, the first installment of the intended Christmas Trilogy, was a rock opera called Christmas Eve and Other Stories, and was released in 1996. It remains among their best-selling albums. It contains the instrumental “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” which originally appeared on Savatage’s rock opera, Dead Winter Dead, a story about the Bosnian War. Their 1998 release The Christmas Attic, the sequel to Christmas Eve and Other Stories followed a similar format. This album produced the hit “Christmas Canon,” a take on Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D major with lyrics and new melodies added. The Christmas Attic was first performed live in 2014.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra performing live in November 2006

List of touring performers


Tristan Avakian (2003)
Chris Caffery (1999–present)
Chris Caffery performing with TSO, 2007
George Cintron (2000)
Angus Clark (2001–present)
Joel Hoekstra (2010–2014, 2016–present)
Bill Hudson (2015)
Damon La Scott (2000)
Al Pitrelli (1999, 2001–present)
Alex Skolnick (2000–2002, 2004–2009)
Chris Altenhoff (2007–2009)
Tony Dickinson (2017-present)
Malcolm Gold (2001)
Johnny Lee Middleton (1999–2000, 2002–present)
David Z (2000–2006, 2010–2016; Died 2017)


Luci Butler (2008–2013)
Carmine Giglio (2002–2005)
Mee Eun Kim (2000–2002, 2004–2007, 2011-2012, 2014–present)
Bob Kinkel (1999–2009)
Doug Kistner (2000)
Vitalij Kuprij (2009–present)
Allison Lovejoy (2003)
Jane Mangini (2001–present)
John Margolis (1999, 2001)
Paul Morris (2000)
Derek Wieland (2006–present)

Electric Violinists:

Sarah Charness (2010)
Roddy Chong (2008–present)
Ted Falcon (2002)
Asha Mevlana (2011–present)
Lucia Micarelli (2003)
Caitlin Moe (2009–2010)
Anna Phoebe (2004–2009)
Valerie Vigoda (2000, 2001)
Mark Wood (1999–2008)
Alison Zlotow (2008)


Blas Elias (2017-present)
Steve Murphy (2000–2001)
Jeff Plate (1999–present)
John O. Reilly (2002–2016)


Ashley Adamek (2011)
Angelica Allen (2011)
Russell Allen (2013–present)
April Berry (2009–present)
Robin Borneman (2013–present)
Dustin Brayley (2012–present)
John Brink (2010–2011, 2013–present)
Steve Broderick (2000–2009)
Jennifer Cella (2001–2007)
Joe Cerisano (2000–2003)
Katrina Chester (1999, 2001)
Tru Collins (2010)
Ava Davis (2012–2014, 2017)
Eileen Kaden Dean (2000)
Marcus DeLoach (2004)
Rob Evan (2001, 2003, 2009–2017)
Dina Fanai (2002, 2003)
Tommy Farese (1999–2010)
Scout Ford (2007–2009)
Jamey Garner (2008)
Jill Gioia (2003–2005)
Alexa Goddard (2007–2008)
Kristin Lewis Gorman (2001–2010)
Gabriela Guncikova (2014-2015)
Heather Gunn (2005–2007)
Autumn Guzzardi (2010, 2012–2016)
Erin Henry (2006–2010)
Steena Hernandez (2006–2008)
Katie Hicks (2009–2010)
Tim Hockenberry (2008–2010)
Ashley Hollister (2016-present)
Nathan James (2012–2014)
Dino Jelusic (2016-present)
Erika Jerry (2010–2013)
Jodi Katz (2009–present)
Kelly Keeling (2006–2007)
Danielle Landherr (2003–2010)
Michael Lanning (2000–2005)
Rosie Lanziero (1999)
Rosa Laricchiuta (2016-present)
Lisa Lavie (2014–present)
Becca Lee (2015)
Guy LeMonnier (1999, 2002–2006)
Mats Levén (2016-present)
James Lewis (2004–2012)
Gary Lindemann (2000)
Tany Ling (2004–2006)
Guy Lockard (2010)
Chloe Lowery (2010–present)
Dari Mahnic (2011)
Maxx Mann (2002, 2006)
Sanya Mateyas (2002–2003)
Abby Lynn Mulay (2009)
Ronny Munroe (2011–2012)
Georgia Napolitano (2010–present)
Daryl Pediford (1999–2003, died 2004)
Jay Pierce (2004–2009, 2012)
Natalya Rose Piette (2010–present)
Chris Pinnella (2012)
Valentina Porter (2008–2009)
Cynthia Posner (2000)
Sophia Ramos (2001)
Kayla Reeves (2010–present)
Joe Retta (2015)
Marisa Rhodes (2007)
Andrew Ross (2007–present)
Bart Shatto (2002–2011, 2014–2015)
Peter Shaw (2005–2007)
Allie Sheridan (2003)
Rebecca Simon (2000)
Jeff Scott Soto (2008–present)
Zachary Stevens (2015–present)
Kay Story (2000)
Becca Tobin (2011)
Marilyn Villamar (2002)
Adrienne Warren (2008)
Rod Weber (2000–2002)
Jason Wooten (2010)


Phillip Brandon (2010–present)
Tim Cain (2000–2002)
Tony Gaynor (1999–2009)
Bryan Hicks (2003–present)
Main article: Trans-Siberian Orchestra discography
Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996)
The Christmas Attic (1998)
The Ghosts of Christmas Eve (live video) (1999)
Beethoven’s Last Night (2000)
The Lost Christmas Eve (2004)
Night Castle (2009)
Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night) (EP) (2012)
Tales of Winter: Selections from the TSO Rock Operas (compilation) (2013)
Letters from the Labyrinth (2015)

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