Violin Virtuoso vs Piano Virtuoso
We live in a world where millions of people will walk passed a concert hall and only a fraction will step inside. Interestingly, thousands will gather at Wrestlemania. Igudesman & Joo have finally found common ground between these two, seemingly opposite, spectator sports. Clementi had to contend with Mozart’s ingenuity, Beethoven blew Steinbelt out of Vienna, and Handel sparred Scarlatti in a joust of fingers (ending in a draw where Handel took the honour for organ mastery—the instrument, not his liver—and Scarlatti reigned harpsichord supreme). Now, Igudesman & Joo prepare themselves to go head-to-head and put an end to the bull—for good.
In the right corner we have Korean/Japanese/Chinese piano prodigy Whay-Tsu Fast and in the left, Russian/American/Jewish/German/Spanish-speaking violin virtuoso Sergey Amadeus Showoff—but, in the feud as ancient as time itself to determine the superior instrument, who will emerge triumphant? Who will snatch victory and prevail as champion in this Clash of the Soloists? Who, with flying fingers and soaring melodies, will rise above as the greatest soloist of all time and claim eternal glory? Ladies and gentleman, now on the world’s greatest stages, let’s get ready to rumble!
In this savage duel between violin and piano, anything and everything goes—whether bribery or axes in the piano and even an evil maestro in disguise. Igudesman & Joo battle it out in their iconoclastic, spectacular, Szechuan-spicy style. They blaze through concertos with extraordinary dexterity and finesse that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. A performance makes for an unforgettable, laugh-until-soda-comes-outof-your-nose performance that will leave listeners of all ages thirsting for more. Forget gladiators—this is blasphemy, this is madness, this is IGUDESMAN & JOO!
“Clash of the Soloists” was commissioned by the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra to commemorate their 150th anniversary, and a world premiere performance by the orchestra with conductor, referee, and Maestro of Ceremonies, Joshua Weilerstein.
What others say
“Having had the great pleasure to have shared a stage with my friends Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo, I can tell you that even from up-close they are the real thing.They are extremely funny, very original, and highly-skilled musicians to boot. Their mix of classical music and comedy is absolutely unique”.
“Describing the Igudesman & Joo humor in detail would be to deflate its brilliance. For the put-upon Igudesman, think Jack Benny and Jascha Heifetz rolled into one. For the zany Joo, try an unholy Chico Marx, Vladimir Horowitz and Jerry Lewis mash-up […] The Igudesman & Joo anthem is Gloria Gaynor’s ‘70s hit song “I Will Survive.” Igudesman begins it as if singing a Russian folk song, and he electrifies it by playing on the violin strings with an electric swizzle stick (on a priceless 1717 Santo Seraphin violin, no less). Ultimately, it survives – barely and hilariously — as an unclassifiable audience sing‐along. But the idea of surviving is also a serious business with these two miraculous performers“