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
Aleksey Igudesman brings the worlds of classical music, world music, pop, rock and jazz together like few other people can.
In this exciting show, he conducts a performance of his original music by a symphony orchestra combined with classics like the William Tell Overture Finale, where the audience participates in a special choreography. Much in the manner of Johann Strauss, Igudesman guides us through the grand work of the evening, "Waltz of the World", directly from his violin.
Igudesman maintains this approach throughout the entire evening creating a unique intimacy between audience and performers rarely experienced in today's orchestral performances. The highlights include a new and modern choreography created especially for the traditional "Fledermaus Overture" by Johann Strauss and "Jazz Waltz" by Shostakovich. Igudesman collaborates with the unique modern - contemporary Japanese dancer Manaho Shimokawa for this program.
With music by Johann Strauss, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, Shostakovich, Igudesman and others.
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.
THE CYBER CONDUCTOR
SEBASTIAN GÜRTLER, ALEKSEY IGUDESMAN and ORCHESTRA
The world-famous conductor Claudio Abbado enters and strikes up the orchestra with the soothing music of a Mozart Symphony.
Suddenly, the music comes to a halt. The Maestro is frozen. The orchestra seems puzzled. Upon closer inspection, it is not Claudio Abbado at all! An average-looking man with a tie enters holding a remote control and presents Sebastian, the new fully automated cyber-conductor.
Sebastian is easy to manage with the remote control. He is fully fitted with all the standard commands such as play, pause, stop, fast-forward and rewind search. And thanks to a micro-chip with the size of 1,000,632,900 gigabytes, Sebastian can perform any kind of music at the touch of a button.
However, during Beethoven’s 5th symphony, the orchestra starts to show signs of strain, and the rebel forces among the brass and percussion begin to protest. Protest turns into fist-fights among some of the orchestra members while the others bravely continue to finish the piece. In the meantime, Sebastian’s circuits have blown up, and the cyber-conductor is in a state of malfunction. Will the classical concert ever be the same?
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
Aleksey Igudesman is a top-tier violinist who was forged in the talent pools of Russia and England. Actually, his classical career was inexorable, but he has a sense of humour, a lot of it. So much so that he had to create a new formula for his concerts - a mixture of serious music and extremely funny stories.
Vienna is his adopted home. The capital city of music, where every stone plays its melody. A melting pot of the greatest composers ever. A lot of raw material to tell stories with and about music. Igudesman performs this programme with an ensemble personally selected by himself, which he calls “The Stings of Ex” and with the exceptional vibraphonist Andrei Pushkarey.
FROM VIENNA TO ST. PETERSBURG
“During his summer trips, Johann Strauss was often seen strolling with Maria Olgovna Igudesman, Aleksey Igudesman’s great-great-grandmother in Pavlovsk Forest. Although Strauss spoke no Russian and Maria no German, a deep, spiritual bond existed between the two. It has been secretly whispered, that the similarity between Johann and Aleksey is not without reason. The unexpected birth of Maria’s illegitimate child has led to great speculation.“
…is Aleksey Igudesman really Strauss’ great-great-grandson? We don’t know. However, the fact that both share a feeling for harmony, melody and humor makes the relationship between the two clear. Over 100 years separate them stylistically and historically, yet Igudesman’s lively compositions seem to be direct descendents of Strauss’ passionate works.
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.