Igudesman & Joo to Perform with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Today
PITTSBURGH - Often compared to luminaries such as Victor Borge and Dudley Moore, Igudesman & Joo (Aleksey Igudesman, violin, and Hyung-ki Joo, piano) have shaken up the classical music world with their unique and hilarious performances. For the first time, they're bringing their uproarious and virtuosic sketch show, BIG Nightmare Music, to Pittsburgh when they perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on November 28 and 30 at Heinz Hall.
From mashups of classical masterpieces and famous pop songs to breathtaking solos of legendary concertos as well as their own compositions, Igudesman & Joo use the entire orchestra - from the first violinist to the last percussionist - to bring their creativity to life with results that are as much fun for the orchestra as they are for the audience!
Igudesman & Joo have worked with the most prestigious classical musicians and orchestras in the industry, leading to rave reviews from The New York Times, Vanity Fair and many others. This comic duo plus the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Manfred Honeck promise a whirlwind of humor and virtuosity.
Each BNY Mellon Grand Classics concert is part of the Explore & Engage program, which includes pre-concert talks, exhibits, display boards and interactive activities that illuminate the music, composers and the time in which they created. This weekend, a pre-concert talk will occur on stage one hour prior to the concert start time. The St. Ursula's Handbell Choir will perform in the Grand Lobby at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $25.75 to $105.75, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org.
The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2014-2015 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Manfred Honeck has served as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008-2009 season. After two extensions, his contract now runs until the end of the 2019-2020 season. To great acclaim, Honeck and his orchestra perform regularly for European audiences. Since 2010, annual tour performances have led them to numerous European music capitals and major music festivals, including Rheingau Musik Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Musikfest Berlin, Grafenegg Festival, Lucerne Festival and the BBC Proms. Several recordings, amongst them Mahler's Symphony No. 4, which won a 2012 International Classical Music Award, are available on Japanese label Exton. Honeck's successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is now captured by Reference Recordings. The first SACD - of Strauss tone poems - was released in fall 2013 and received rave reviews. The second recording, of Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 and the Symphonic Suite from Janacek's opera Jenufa, conceptualized by Honeck himself, followed in summer 2014 and was likewise enthusiastically received. Several additional recordings are completed and it is expected that two releases will be issued per year. Born in Austria, Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and at the helm of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado in Vienna. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor's Award in 1993. Other early stations of his career include Leipzig, where he was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra and Oslo, where he assumed the post of music director at the Norwegian National Opera on short notice for a year and was engaged as principal guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for several years. From 2000 to 2006, he was music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and, from 2008 to 2011, principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he has resumed for another three years at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season. As a guest conductor, Honeck has worked with leading international orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and the Vienna Philharmonic. Orchestras he conducted in the United States include New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He also is a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. In February 2013, he had his successful debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the direct result of which was a CD recording together with Anne-Sophie Mutter (works of Dvorak). The current season sees returns to Bamberg, Stuttgart, Rome and New York as well as to the Vienna Symphony (a CD of works by the Strauss family was released in summer 2013) and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He also will conduct Tonhalleorchester Zürich and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst others. Honeck has received honorary doctorates from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., and, most recently, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He has been artistic director of the "International Concerts Wolfegg" in Germany for more than 15 years.
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 more than 40 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. 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. Igudesman and Joo have also teamed up with actors, such as John Malkovich and former James Bond Sir Roger Moore on several occasions in aid of UNICEF. Besides touring A Little Nightmare Music, they also perform BIG Nightmare Music, with symphony orchestras, and lead their workshop "8 to 88 - Musical Education for Children of All Ages" at universities and music schools around the world, leaving students inspired and confident to break new grounds for their own musical journeys. Igudesman & Joo can be seen in several films, including their own "mockumentary," "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music." On New Year's Eve 2011, at the Vienna Konzerthaus, with the help of 100 violinists from all over the world, Igudesman & Joo set the world record for the most "Dancing Violinists" performing together on stage. The world record was conceived and produced by the duo in aid of UNICEF.
For more than 117 years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been an essential part of Pittsburgh's cultural landscape. The Pittsburgh Symphony, known for its artistic excellence, is credited with a rich history of the world's finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. This tradition was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world's greatest orchestras. The Pittsburgh Symphony has made 40 international tours, including 20 European tours, eight trips to the Far East, and two to South America. Under the baton of Gilbert Levine, the PSO was the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican in January 2004 for the late Pope John Paul II, as part of the Pontiff's Silver Jubilee celebration. The PSO has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. As early as 1936, the PSO broadcast coast-to-coast, receiving increased national attention in 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International (PRI). The PRI series is produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3 in Pittsburgh and is made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts is owned and operated by Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc., a non-profit organization, and is the year-round home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The cornerstone of Pittsburgh's Cultural District, Heinz Hall also hosts many other events that do not feature its world-renowned orchestra, including Broadway shows, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.