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What's So Funny About Classical Music? Just Ask 'Igudesman & Joo'21:29

Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo in WBUR studios. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo in WBUR studios. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo are a pair of superbly trained classical musicians who have made names for themselves making fun of (or, as they insist, "having fun with") the oh-so-serious nature of classical music performance.

"We felt the world of classical music, the world that we loved and the world wanted to belong to, had very little to do with the spirit in which the music was originally written," Joo, who plays piano, told Radio Boston's Anthony Brooks.

"It takes itself too seriously," said Igudesman, who plays violin. "You take yourself to a concert hall and it's like going to a funeral."

Igudesman & Joo, as the classical duo is known, offer a zany mix of skilled classical performance, pop tunes and slapstick comedy. They play beautifully -- even as Joo has been known to play his piano lying upside down on the floor. Their props sometimes include a broom or a vacuum cleaner, which has been known to inhale Igudesman's bow.

According to their website, "Aleksy Igudesdman was born in Leningrad at a very young age. He has never won any [music] competitions, mainly because he has never entered any." As for his partner: "Hyung-ki Joo was born. He is British, but looks Korean, or the other way around, or both." As Joo told Brooks, "I am the only South Korean Joo."


Aleksey Igudesman, violinist, Igudesman & Joo

Hyung-ki Joo, pianist, Igudesman & Joo

The duo will perform their show, "And Now Mozart," Saturday at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport.

This segment originally aired in 2011.

This segment aired on July 12, 2018.

Anthony Brooks Twitter Senior Political Reporter
Anthony Brooks is WBUR's senior political reporter.


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