Musical comedy duo in Steamboat Springs for the first time Wednesday | SteamboatToday.com

Musical comedy duo in Steamboat Springs for the first time Wednesday

Alek­sey Igudes­man and Hyung-ki Joo and the duo with an astonishing musical act that combines comedy and pop culture filling concert halls and stadiums around the world and performing with renowned musicians and orchestras.





Alek­sey Igudes­man and Hyung-ki Joo and the duo with an astonishing musical act that combines comedy and pop culture filling concert halls and stadiums around the world and performing with renowned musicians and orchestras.

— Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo take a surprisingly unconventional approach to their instruments.

Performing in concert halls with some of the world's leading orchestras — including the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra — they can be seen playing the violin with a cappuccino milk frother or the piano with wooden blocks.

If You Go…

What: Igudesman & Joo; "A Little Nightmare Music"


When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 22

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road

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Tickets: Tickets start at $32 for adults and $5 for juniors.

At a concert with Igudesman and Joo, musical boundaries begin to evaporate, and comedy ensues for a show that's altering perceptions of what a classical concert entails.

Described by Joo as "South Park meets Bach Today," the dynamic duo's musical comedy performance of "A Little Nightmare Music" will take the stage at 6 p.m. this evening in the Strings Music Pavilion.

Poking fun at the "nightmares" of what could happen during a performance — such as forgetting a portion of the piece or the interruption of a phone ringing — the show was inspired by those mistakes that help make a musician.

"Some of the best things in our show were mistakes," Joo said via telephone while the two were taking a break from rehearsals in Rome. "If you don't have mistakes, you don't further yourself. There is this stigma to be perfect as a classical musician. We come on stage and say, ‘no, we are going to make music the best way we know how to, but we are going to have fun and do things outside of our comfort zones.’"

Stemming from their love of music and its many different styles, the two have been mixing up perceptions of classical music since they met at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, England, when they were 12 years old.

In their show, which is currently on tour until March 2016, a violinist can nod off and awaken transformed into a "Riverdancer," "I Will Survive," can go from a disco hit to an embellished tune meshed with Tchaikovsky and the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" can get an operetta makeover.

"From the beginning, we didn't understand why the concept of classical music had to be so stiff and formal," Igudesman said. "The whole formality of people going on stage, the audience clapping, musicians bowing, no one saying a word — it's a perfect situational comedy in way."

Trained classical musicians first and foremost, the two make fun not of the music, but with the music. They have performed with the likes of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Billy Joel for an encore performance at Carnegie Hall. In addition, they have been joined by renowned artists such as Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, John Malkovich and Sir Roger Moore. Their YouTube videos have attracted more than 35 million views and their music has been featured in films such as "Sherlock Holmes" and "The Road to El Dorado."

"Everybody wants to be a child, actually," Joo said of why so many of classical music's notable musicians aspire to be onstage with the duo. "We all have that inner child, and I think we offer a platform to let themselves go and be silly from that protected environment. They feel safe being on stage with us."

Although their show offers something special within the realm of classical music, each skit takes years to develop through interactive ideas and a constant focus on the music.

"We are first and foremost musicians," Igudesman said. "We really care about the music communicating with people and the spirit of offering more creativity into the world and people's lives. Music is the thing that drives us."

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go…

What: Igudesman & Joo; “A Little Nightmare Music”


When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 22

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road

Tickets: Tickets start at $32 for adults and $5 for juniors.