Igudesman & Joo
Millions of YouTube viewers can’t be wrong. Well they can, but in this case they aren’t, and they’ve turned the inspired lunacy of musicians Igudesman & Joo into an internet and international sensation. Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo have taken the world by storm with their unique and hilarious theatrical shows. Combining comedy with music – their clips on YouTube have gathered over 45 million hits – they have appeared on many of the world’s biggest stages and have been invited to perform with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, L.A. Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to name but a few.
Equally comfortable performing in concert halls as well as in stadiums in front of crowds of 18,000, their infectious zaniness and virtuosity has made millions of college and high school students among their biggest fans, building a younger and wider audience for classical music at a critical time for the industry. As composers they have been commissioned by orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dusseldorf Symphony, Vienna Symphony, and Zürich Tonhalle. They have collectively released over 50 publications on Universal Edition, and their film and concert music is performed by musicians and children all over the world.
Aleksey and Hyung-ki met at the age of twelve at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England. Thanks to a portion of fish and chips the pre-teenagers became friends and in 2004, following in the footsteps of luminaries such as Victor Borge and Dudley Moore, began creating their numerous ground-breaking shows. Since then, many of the world’s most respected musicians have asked the duo to include them in their skits of musical mayhem, such as Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Janine Jansen, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Viktoria Mullova, Julian Rachlin, and Yuja Wang. They have also teamed up with actors such as John Malkovich for their CD album You Just Have to Laugh and a project called The Music Critic, and former James Bond, the late Sir Roger Moore, who collaborated with the duo on several occasions in aid of UNICEF.
Individually, Aleksey Igudesman has worked with Academy® Award-winning Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, and Hyung-ki Joo was chosen by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Billy Joel to arrange and record Joel’s solo piano compositions on a CD which reached #1 on the Billboard Charts.
Both Hans Zimmer and Billy Joel not only recognise the artists as serious musicians, but also endorse them as entrepreneurs through “Music Traveler”- a platform and mobile app for musicians to book rehearsal rooms around the world, originally founded and conceived by Igudesman. The duo also formed “Music Traveler Productions”, designed to create original content for film and TV.
IGUDESMAN & JOO, in addition to their own productions, have appeared in several films including the mockumentary, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music, Pianomania and the award-winning Noseland.
Besides touring the duo shows A Little Nightmare Music, AND NOW MOZART, Play it Again, and shows with symphony orchestras such as BIG Nightmare Music, Upbeat, and various other titles, they also enjoy giving various educational programs and master classes while on the road. These encounters with the students leave the next generation inspired and confident to break new grounds for their own musical journeys.
Autumn 2019 will see the publication of the book they are currently writing on the subject of creativity called Saving the World.