AND NOW MOZART Set for NYU Skirball, 3/25-26
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts will present the U.S. premiere of And Now Mozart, featuring the inspired lunacy of comedy virtuosos Igudesman & Joo, on March 25 and 26 at 8 pm at NYU Skirball Center.
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 Python¹s Ministry of Silly Walks. Igudesman & Joo share the subversive comedic sensibilities of such influences as "South Park," SNL, Ricky Gervais and the "Portlandia" team.
"There¹s no real definition for what we do," says Igudesman. "It¹s a kind of theatrical comic event that works on multiple levels."
As an antidote to the stuffiness of most concerts, Igudesman and Joo transform the concert stage into a musical Pee-wee¹s Playhouse, where the three Bs can be Bach, Beethoven and Bond, James Bond. Igudesman and Joo don¹t 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 comic and musical madness has also developed a huge celebrity following. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Billy Joel jumped on stage for an encore performance with them at Carnegie Hall. John Malkovich rocked in his Bach skit. Terry Jones of Monty Python has said the duo "brings surrealism to the concert hall and takes its trousers down."
Literally, as Igudesman often performs in boxer shorts.
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 weren¹t such gifted serious musicians they wouldn¹t be quite as funny. Their talent and extensive musical knowledge give them the freedom to be reverently irreverent.
The two met as teenagers, training at the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England. Each has a distinguished solo career, composing, arranging and performing with orchestras and chamber groups worldwide, as well as working on film scores and mentoring young musicians. The successful collaboration was born out of a desire to create a concert that they would actually want to attend.
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