MAD - MUSIC & DANCE
MAD stands for “Music And Dance” as performed by the Manaho-Aleksey Duo with additional guests. Breaking away from the conventional roles of dancer and musician, MAD explores the possibilities and impossibilities of movement combined with music. At times, the dancer embraces the player. All of a sudden, the musician may become the dancer, displaying movements not typically seen from an instrumentalist. The dancers and the musicians exchange roles without ever breaking the flow of the music.
Aleksey Igudesman takes us to his homeland and then around the world with his own arrangements and humorous compositions for solo violin, and a stand-up like routine you’d never expect from a violinist.
„I was born in St Petersburg at a very early age. Back then it was actually called Leningrad. And before that Petrograd. And before that Hetrograd, Metrograd, Sexograd and Rome. But that was a long time ago…”
Igudesman takes a close look at the crazy world of classical music, and strips away all pretences to reveal the hidden secrets of music and comedy in their full nakedness. Through his batty sense of humour and his bizarre virtuosity, he brings us closer to what classical music was originally intended for – to entertain and enrich our lives and to lose weight.
THE MUSIC CRITIC
Schumann fancies himself a „composer“, while Brahms is a „giftless bastard“. And Claude Debussy is simply ugly. Originally conceived for the Julian Rachlin & Friends Festival, Aleksey Igudesman created a sardonic mix of the most evil music critiques of the last centuries written about some of the greatest works of music. Equipped with a frivolous potpourri of musical insults, John Malkovich slips into the role of the evil critic who believes the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev and the likes to be weary and dreary.
Aleksey Igudesman, Julian Rachlin, Hyung-ki Joo and other great musicians beg to differ and fight back. The grand finale is „The Malkovich Torment“, a horrific review about Malkovich himself, which Igudesman has set to music in a uniquely sardonically humorous way.
Music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Schumann, Debussy, Prokofiev, Ysaye, Kanchelli, Piazzolla and Igudesman.
John Malkovich, Narrator
Aleksey Igudesman, Violin
WALTZ OF THE WORLD
When the entire audience gets to practise Yoga with the help of the William Tell Overture, Igudesman must be involved. Additionally, the extraordinary dancer Manaho Shimokawa performs a multi-stylistic, witty choreography to the “Fledermaus” (The Bat) Overture by Johann Strauss.
The central work of the performance is Igudesman’s “Waltz of the World”, which combines well-known classics, Celtic & Klezmer music with Tango, Salsa, Flamenco and a multitude of other styles. A choir chants an African song, while dancing to the Blue Danube Waltz in the style of a Samba.
VIOLINS OF THE WORLD
In this special project, Igudesman manages to bring different ways of playing the violin together in the most playful way possible. Pieces inspired by Jewish Klezmer music are mixed with Celtic Irish music, Bulgarian, Eastern European and Asian sounds, Salsa music and Tango. And of course Mozart in Igudesman’s own so very unique way.
Various duets, often complimented with a touch of Igudesmans unique humour, are performed by him along with his friends and other grand figures of violin playing.
In between pieces, Igudesman’s poetry is recited, inspired by “Scratching Cats”, “Flying Pigs” and “Dreaming Fish”.
Many young guest violinists make the whole event into something where the next generation of violin players is also featured!
„STYLE WORKOUT“ – THE LAUGHING VIOLIN
Workshop for different Styles, Rhythm, Improvisation and fun with the instrument.
Using classical and ethnic music, as well as eclectic own compositions and improvisation, Aleksey Igudesman explores diverse playing technics and adds movement and dance to the equasion. Rhythms outside of the common classical repertoire, alternative sound production and stylistic ornamentation from India, Arabic, Celtic, Balkan, Klezmer, Jazz and Rock music additionally come into play.
Another aspect that is explored is humour, and its translation to the instrument.
The workshop, although based on violin techniques, welcomes all instrumentalists to join in the fun!
Physical movement and dance during performance is also an Igudesman’s speciality that he shares in this out of the norm workshop.
Aleksey Igudesman has published numerous books of sheet music on Universal Edition, for young, advanced and professional musicians, including Klezmer & More, Celtic & More, Latin & More, Asia & More, Miles & More, Mozart & More and Fasten Seat Belts, as well as duets for young violinists, such as The Catscratchbook, Pigs can Fly and Fishsummernights dream.
IGUDESMAN & JOO
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 over 35 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.
Aleksey and Hyung-ki met at the age of twelve, at the Yehudi Menuhin School, in England, and since then, have remained strong friends and writing partners. In 2004, following in the footsteps of luminaries such as Victor Borge and Dudley Moore, they created their first groundbreaking show, “A Little Nightmare Music”. Since then, they have performed as a duo, and as soloists, with chamber and symphony orchestras at many of the world’s biggest stages and festivals.
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. Some of the world’s leading orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, have shared the stage with IGUDESMAN & JOO for their show “BIG Nightmare Music”. Aleksey and Hyung-ki have also teamed up with actors, such as John Malkovich, and former James Bond, Sir Roger Moore, on several occasions in aid of UNICEF.
Individually, Aleksey Igudesman has worked with musicians ranging from Academy® Award-winning Hollywood composer, Hans Zimmer, to multi Grammy® Award-winning vocalist, Bobby McFerrin. Hyung-ki Joo, has worked with Academy® Award-winning composer, Vangelis, and was chosen by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Billy Joel, to arrange and record Joel’s classical compositions on a CD, which reached #1 on the Billboard Charts.
IGUDESMAN & JOO can be seen in several films, including their own “Mockumentary”, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music”.
Besides touring their duo shows “A Little Nightmare Music” and “AND NOW MOZART”, they also perform “BIG Nightmare Music”, with symphony orchestras, and lead their education program “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.
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.
THE OTHER SEASONS
“The Other Seasons”, or “4 Seasons, 12 Reasons and 24 Seasonings” is inspired by both Vivaldi and Piazzolla alike. Much like Vivaldi, Igudesman’s work is comprised of 3 movements for each season. Each movement has a “reason” for being there, some simply because “it’s fun”or because “it tastes good”.
Each “reason” additionally contains two musical “seasonings”, such as salt, paprika or even lemon grass. Playful, humorous, and deliciously original, Igudesman incorporates fragments of Vivaldi into his own composition. In other parts, Tango rhythms underline the virtuosic, yet extremely melodious solo violin part.
VIENNA AND I
Igudesman’s long-lasting relationship with Vienna is at the core of this exciting, traditional yet, at times, mischievous programme. He depicts his love for the city of music through his highly original and often humorous arrangements of well-known classics by Johann Strauss, Fritz Kreisler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert and Gustav Mahler.
Mahler’s magical Adagietto acquires an ethereal touch when the vibraphone replacesthe harp and Strauss’s Vienna Blood Waltz gets the Igudesman treatment, adding a more edgy and irreverent touch to the legendary waltz.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
What does Sibelius’s beloved Violin Concerto have in common with the famous
computer game “Angry Birds”? A question that may be answered in this unique concert.
Playful arrangements of computer game music mixed with famous works by great classical composers stand beside famous modern-day pop classics, such as Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” and Igudesman’s own, often humorous, songs. Also featured in this exciting and unique program is the young outstanding British percussionist and composer Lucy Landymore.
YOUR OWN TAILOR MADE PROGRAM
One of Igudesmans specialities is to tailormake programs for your orchestral or solo concert – fitting your festival, concert series or theme of the season.
Creativity is one of Igudesmans strongest sides. He is able to provide you with concepts and ideas for your orchestra to perform with or without him or to provide ideas for concert series and programming. Igudesman envisions creative programming to take a much larger place in the world of music in the future.