The concert begins. The music is sublime. Not even a pin would dare drop. Suddenly, a cell-phone rings and the madness starts. The pianist loses his hand; the violinist, while tuning, falls asleep, and later wakes up in the middle of a motorway, transformed into a “River dancer”. When the pianist returns, the piano is locked, telling him to insert his credit card. He just talks on the phone while reading a paper, eating, and playing the piano upside down all at the same time. These and many other “nightmares” unfold before the audi-ences’ eyes and ears.
IGUDESMAN & JOO have received acclaim for their takes on concert nights from audiences all over the world. The show has reached thousands in concert halls ranging from LA Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Philharmonie Berlin in the West, to Hong Kong City Hall Theatre in the East.
“A Little Nightmare Music” is a unique show, full of virtuosity, enchanting music and zany, outrageous humour. Ideal for audiences aged 8 to 88, this show is sure to captivate you and crack you up, whether you’re a classical music enthusiast or the type who runs for cover, at the mere mention of Mozart.
“Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo played at my 80th birthday celebrations. I nearly died laughing. I’d like to invite them back for my 85th, but that might be considered reckless… Great musicians, great fun.”
BERNARD HAITINK — conductor
Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo are two classical musicians who have taken the world by storm with their unique and hilarious theatrical shows, which combine comedy with classical music and popular culture. Their clips on YouTube, to date, have gathered over 35 million hits, and the duo has appeared on television in numerous countries. Equally comfortable performing in classical concert halls and in stadiums in front of crowds of 18,000, their collective dream is to make classical music accessible to a wider and younger audience.
Aleksey and Hyung-ki met at the age of twelve, at the Yehudi Menuhin School, in England and since then have remained close friends and writing partners. In 2004, following in the footsteps of luminaries such as Victor Borge and Dudley Moore, they created their first groundbreaking show, “A Little Nightmare Music”. Since then, they have per-formed as a duo, and as soloists, with chamber and symphony orchestras at many of the world’s biggest stages and festivals.
Many of classical music’s biggest names, such as Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Janine Jansen, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Viktoria Mullova, and Julian Rachlin, have joined them in their musical sketches. Some of the world’s leading orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, have shared the stage with Igudesman & Joo for their show “BIG Nightmare Music”. Aleksey and Hyung-ki have also teamed up with actors, such as John Malkovich and former James Bond, Sir Roger Moore, on several occasions in aid of UNICEF.
Individually, Aleksey Igudesman has worked with musicians ranging from Academy® Award-winning Hollywood composer, Hans Zimmer, to multi Grammy® Award-winning vocalist, Bobby McFerrin. Hyung-ki Joo, has worked with Academy® Award-winning composer, Vangelis, and was chosen by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Billy Joel, to arrange and record Joel’s classical compositions on a CD, which reached #1 on the Billboard Charts.
Igudesman & Joo can be seen in several films, including their own “Mockumentary”, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music”.Besides touring their duo shows “A Little Nightmare Music” and “AND NOW MOZART”, they also perform “BIG Nightmare Music” with symphony orchestras, and lead their education program “8 To 88 — Musical Education for Children of All Ages” at universities and music schools around the world, leaving students inspired and confident to break new ground on their own musical journeys.
On New Year’s Eve, 2011, at the Vienna Konzerthaus, with the help of 100 violinists from all over the world, Igudesman & Joo set the world record for the most “Dancing Violinists” performing together on stage. The world record was conceived and produced by the duo in aid of UNICEF
Best known as a violinist and composer, Aleksey Igudesman has also established himself as an actor, comedian and filmmaker. His music has earned admiration for capturing the essence of diverse musical languages in a uniquely clever and joyful way.
Igudesman attended the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England. There he met Hyung-ki Joo, his comedy partner-to-be, bonding over a mutual passion for dead composers and deadpan humor. He later studied under Boris Kuschnir at the Vienna Conservatoire.
The violinist has enjoyed a successful career playing, composing, and arranging for his string trio Triology, recording several CDs for BMG, teaching master classes, and performing with Bobby McFerrin, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen, Joshua Bell, Gidon Kremer, Sir Roger Moore and John Malkovich, among others. Igudesman also directed, produced and starred in the feature¬-length mockumentary “Noseland,” an award winner at the Doc Miami International Film Festival.
As a composer, Igudesman has written pieces performed by ensembles and orchestras worldwide, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He has frequently collaborated with Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer on movies, including “Sherlock Holmes” nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score, and “Jealous of the Birds”, which won Best Original Score at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
He is one half of the deliciously daft Igudesman & Joo, whose inspired silliness can start with Rachmaninoff or Liszt and find its way through martial arts, movie classics, rock, hip hop, folk, heavy metal, disco and step dancing. Sketches from their concert shows shredding the classical canon have gone viral on YouTube, with some 40 million views.
Pianist and composer Hyung-ki Joo has appeared as a soloist and in chamber ensembles worldwide, with works performed by renowned orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and London Philharmonic.
Enrolled at age 10 at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England, Joo studied composition with Simon Parkin and Malcolm Singer. It was while attending the music academy that he and eventual comic partner violinist Aleksey Igudesman discovered a shared passion for Mahler and Monty Python, interests that helped inspire the duo’s work in concert comedy.
Joo made his musical debut at Barbican Hall with the Warsaw Sinfonia conducted by Sir Yehudi Menuhin. Grand Prize winner of the Stravinsky International Piano Competition, Joo has worked with Academy® Award winning composer Vangelis. Rock legend Billy Joel chose him to arrange and record “Fantasies and Delusions,” a classical album of Joel solo piano pieces that was No. 1 on the Billboard charts. He has performed at the White House and co-founded a piano trio with violinist Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne and cellist Thomas Carroll.
He is one-half of the wickedly inventive Igudesman & Joo, who use pop culture, comedy, and slapstick to transform concert stages into musical funhouses. The pair’s uproarious sketches have attracted a wide YouTube following, with some 40 million views. Joo has appeared in several films including, “Pianomania,” “Noseland,” and “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music” and performed with classical heavyweights such as Joshua Bell, Gidon Kremer and Emanuel Ax and actors Roger Moore and John Malkovich.