Leaves Audiences Howling with Laughter
The age-old question, can a concert be simultaneously bone rattling and sidesplitting now has an answer. As if Igudesman & Joo weren’t outlandish and ghoulish enough, they’re upping the ante with “Scary Concert,” a no-holds barred musical salute to the dark side that manages to tingle your spine and tickle your fancy. Under the pair’s spell, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has no choice but to give in and play along in special Halloween-themed performances from Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh on October 31 and at the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theater at West Virginia University on November 2.
Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-Ki Joo are the wildly inventive comedy team whose YouTube sketches and musical mash ups have attracted close to 40 million viewers. Seriously talented musicians with the wit, sensibilities and improvisational bent that bring to mind Monty Python, “South Park,” “SNL,” and “Portlandia,” Igudesman & Joo hilariously waltz their way from Mozart to martial arts, Haydn to hip hop. By breaking down barriers between the stage, audiences and orchestra, their concerts roam several standard deviations from the classical norm. Anything can and usually does happen to the delight of enthusiastic fans worldwide.
Following in the tradition of their “Big Nightmare Music,” these masters of mayhem and mirth again commandeer a full-size symphony orchestra, whose members will channel their inner pirates, wizards and zombies and don costumes to match. “Halloween is a wonderfully zany holiday because it combines things that are really scary and really fun,” Igudesman says. “It’s a time to let the folly out, perfect for us.”
The Halloween homage mines the musical canon for the chilling and creepy as well as featuring the duo’s original works. “Horror Movie,” for example, is the violinist’s own brilliant paean to the creaky and crackling, the squeaks and squeals, sounds that frighten the living daylights out of filmgoers, but are sure to have listeners screaming in laughter.
What others say
“Their blend of classical music and comedy, laced with pop culture references and a wholly novel take on the word slapstick, is fueled by genuine, dazzling virtuosity.”
Prior to our thanksgiving concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Music Director Manfred Honeck and the dynamic duo Igudesman and Joo, there was much scepticism within the organization as to how the orchestra and audience would react. However, our minds were put at ease the minute they arrived! They were incredibly professional, obviously very talented, and provided a breath of fresh air for the orchestra and PSO staff. It was such a joy to have them with us, and we received such great feedback from our patrons and the musicians that we immediately reinvited them to join us for a special concert with the orchestra the following year!
“The incredible performance/workshop of Igudesman and Joo… was the best visiting educational experience that I have witnessed in my 31 years of teaching in public education.
Over 780 performing arts students… were exposed to musicianship, self-confidence building, kinesthetic learning, and different cultural perspectives that spoke to everyone in the auditorium at different and memorable levels.
… Thank you so much for letting us be a part of this wonderful event. You have touched many lives today, with your passion for music and the arts.“