RAISE YOUR BATONS!
The utterly uproarious virtuosos violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-Ki Joo are at it again with their delightfully daft orchestral show “UpBeat.” A follow up to their “BIG Nightmare Music,” “UpBeat” takes audiences on a madcap musical ride with stops at every conceivable genre from Ravel to rock, from hip-hop beats to would you believe tee-hee-hees.
The words “strike up the band”—or in this case orchestra—never had a more deliciously raucous meaning than when they signal the appearance of the pair, who do double duty as both conductors and soloists throughout “Upbeat.” Of course this being Igudesman & Joo, a baton quickly turns into “a weapon of mass conduction,” and the tug-of-war over who gets to give the initial upbeat has the concert off to a tumultuous start.
The orchestral merry-go-round span “Ring in the Classics,” Igudesman & Joo’s symphonic Nokia ringtone poem commissioned by the New York Philharmonic; “Winter Polka,” an epic exercise in coughing; “Horror Movie,” a brilliant paean to the creaky and crackling, the squeaks and squeals, sounds that frighten the living daylights out of filmgoers; “An Austrian in America” commissioned by the Pittsburg Symphony to honor its conductor Manfred Honeck…or at least they hoped it would; loop-the-loop with “Ride of the Oy Veykyries,” a lively, klezmer-infused version of Wagner’s most famous piece sure to have the grim German spinning in his grave; “Rush Hour” where a Moscow traffic jam provides fodder; “You Just Have to Laugh,” a kaleidoscope of chuckles, guffaws, and ha-ha-has where the entire philharmonic gets the giggles singing along with the audience; and, as if Greece didn’t have enough woes, Igudesman tries his best to help the beleaguered country out in a schizophrenic finale “Zorba the Geek.”
ABOUT IGUDESMAN & JOO
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, as well as 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 strong 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 performed 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.
Igudesman & Joo can be seen in several films, including their own “Mockumentary”, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music”.
• $25 via SISTIC.
• All event information is correct at time of print.
• Out of respect for other concertgoers, no children under 6 years of age will be allowed admission.