IGUDESMAN AND JOO: AND NOW MOZART
If Trey Parker and Matt Stone played the violin and piano, if Penn and Teller performed music instead of magic, and if Seth Macfarlane had a twin, they would be the brilliantly outrageous Igudesman & Joo. Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-Ki Joo are the inventive comic duo whose hilarious mix of music, pop culture and pure zaniness has won them fans of all ages and cultures worldwide. As evidence, their YouTube sketches have attracted close to 40 million viewers.
Highly trained musicians, their inspired silliness can start with Rachmaninoff or Liszt and find its way through martial arts, movie classics, rock, hip hop, folk, heavy metal and disco, step dancing and Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks. Igudesman & Joo share the subversive comedic sensibilities of such influences as “South Park,” SNL, Ricky Gervais and the “Portlandia” team.
As an antidote to the stuffiness of most concerts, Igudesman and Joo transform the concert stage into a musical Pee-wee’s Playhouse, where the three Bs can be Bach, Beethoven and Bond, James Bond. Igudesman and Joo don’t just play the violin with a vibrating milk frother or use wood blocks to tickle the ivories, they do it with dazzling virtuosity. The result, as Vanity Fair puts it: “the craziest, most hysterically funny music ever.”
Their show And Now Mozart may or may not include any Mozart. It’s typical Igudesman and Joo, several standard deviations from the classical norm.
And, while most of the concert is played for laughs, Igudesman & Joo do show off their considerable musical chops with compositions of their own or from the classical repertoire. Ironically, if Igudesman and Joo weren’t such gifted serious musicians they wouldn’t be quite as funny. Their talent and extensive musical knowledge give them the freedom to be reverently irreverent.
Founded in 2003, the 1,367-seat Bergen Performing Arts Center, or bergenPAC, is the area’s cultural mecca. Housed in a historic Art Deco-style theater boasting one of the finest acoustic halls in the United States, bergenPAC attracts a stellar roster of world-class entertainment. The jewel in our crown is The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC – the innovative, educational performing arts initiative that reaches more than 30,000 students annually. The Performing Arts School provides community youth, age 2 months to 21 years, with unique, “hands-on” training in music, dance and theater by industry professionals. It is through the ongoing generosity of sponsors, donors, members, and patrons that the not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation bergenPAC and The Performing Arts School are able to thrive and enrich our community.