I first heard and saw Igudesman and Joo one morning in the midst of a frenzied preparation-for-school routine. Quite apropos. It was while brushing one of the twin’s hair and looking for a pair of pants for the other that I spied an interesting title on my TV screen. “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music.” It was a bold, “Allenesque” claim and, being a sucker for such things, I bit.
No, not my daughter. What I mean to say is that I dropped everything and watched the “documentary”. I don’t recall if I ever actually finished brushing the first twin’s hair or finding the other’s pants. In fact, I can’t even say for sure they wore pants to school that day. But what I can say is that I was intrigued.
As soon as the little angels left the house, I googled ”Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music” and came up with the names Igudesman and Joo. I read about their friendship which commenced at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London, their love of fish and chips, and their interest in making classical music more interesting and attainable to young people. That was the icing on the cake, or better said, the batter on the cod. Musicians, comedians and philosophers dedicated to making classical music fun. I became an avid fan. I visited their web site (http://www.igudesmanandjoo.com/), I followed their twitter account (https://twitter.com/igudesmanandjoo), and I liked their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/IgudesmanJooOfficial?ref=ts).
Sadly, all I ever read about was “BBC this” and “Wiener Konzerthaus that”. (Honestly, Nathan’s wieners are so much better). And just when there seemed to be no hope of ever my seeing them live, the announcement came. Igudesman and Joo were coming to Carnegie Hall! I went online immediately and bought two tickets in the third row, center orchestra. No – not for the twins. For my 12 year old daughter and for myself. And then I immediately regretted it… because the tickets were on the right side of the orchestra and my daughter would not be able to see Joo at work on the piano. So I bought two more tickets! These were in the third box, left, with the piano keyboard in full glorious view!! Then I gave the first two tickets to my parents. Heh. They were excellent tickets, nontheless, and were it not for my parents’ love of music I would not be teaching my own girls about it today. And it was my father who introduced me to P.D.Q. Bach and who took me to two of Peter Schickele‘s concerts, there in Carnegie Hall… in the nose bleed section, with a semi-obstructed view. So, yeah I gave them the center right orchestra tickets without the view of the keyboard!
The concert was excellent, and my daughter and parents had a blast. Igudesman and Joo are intelligent and very funny, and a tiny bit risqué. I did catch my mother look at up at us in panic when Joo momentarily made amorous moves toward the piano. But that was it. I was proud that my young one knew every piece of classical music they played from Mozart to Rachmaninoff, and that she understood the musical jokes. And if their own performances weren’t stellar enough, their guests were over the top. The first surprise guest was Joshua Bell, whom my parents had spied early on sitting near them. He had developed a little bit of a fan following there on the right side of the concert hall, being not only one of the best violinists in the world today but also quite attractive. I spied the second surprise guests immediately before the intermission when he stood up quickly and raced to the green room just as Igudesman and Joo walked off the stage. Billy Joel!! I kept an eye on him during the second half of the concert, as he was sitting right below us, and spied his fingers moving along his legs as Joo played for the crowd.
I can’t say enough wonderful things about Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-Ki Joo. I wish them continued and growing success. I hope that many others learn about them and have the opportunity to see them, and I hope for a world where all kinds of music can be enjoyed and laughed at – especially classical music.
I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. I am only writing it because I genuinely enjoy Igudesman and Joo, and because I am trying to kiss up to them in the hopes of perhaps receiving an autographed photo… or a pair of wobbly, sunglasses worn by Aleksey himself.