Experience a concert that is both bone-rattling and sidesplitting when Igudesman & Joo return to perform the conductor-less “Scary Concert” with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the Canady Symphony Series at the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theater at West Virginia University’s Creative Arts Center on November 2.
Outlandish, ghoulish, hilarious and prodigiously talented, violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo are the wildly inventive comedy team whose YouTube sketches and musical mash ups have attracted close to 40 million viewers. Igudesman & Joo hilariously waltz their way from Mozart to martial arts, Haydn to hip hop with their unique wit, sensibilities and improvisational skills. By breaking down barriers between the stage, audiences and orchestra, their concerts roam several standard deviations from the classical norm. Anything can and usually does happen to the delight of enthusiastic fans worldwide — and under this pair’s spell, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and its audiences are in for a very special Halloween celebration.
“Halloween is a wonderfully zany holiday because it combines things that are really scary and really fun,” Igudesman says. “It’s a time to let the folly out, perfect for us.”
The Halloween homage mines the musical canon for the chilling and creepy, as well as featuring the duo’s original works. “Horror Movie,” for example, is the violinist’s own brilliant paean to the creaky and crackling, the squeaks and squeals, sounds that frighten the living daylights out of filmgoers, but are sure to have listeners screaming in laughter. In “Danse Macabre,” Igudesman appears, disappears and reappears, showing up anywhere on the stage all the while displaying dazzling technique in playing Saint-S�ens’ devilish work about a violinist who makes the dead rise from their graves. Equally unnerving, Joo tackles Ravel’s “Le Gibet,” a hauntingly beautiful piece about the corpse of a hanged man. “Decomposing Composers” pays tribute to those artists long dead, grateful they’re no longer around to hear Igudesman’s & Joo’s rendition of the Michael Palin classic honoring those six feet under. In the same vein, pianist Joo tries to salute his performance partner in his composition “My Perfect Man,” if only he could find a quality worthy of praise. “Tango del Diablo” is a diabolically difficult piece that Igudesman wrote and regrets that he made so hard because now he has to perform it. And the “Celebration Polka” is anything but joyful for Joo, who is forced to dash through the full spectrum of piano classics at breakneck speed.
Audience members and musicians alike are invited to come to the concert in costume to get into the “spirit” of Scary Concert. A costume contest with those in the audience in costume will be held before the second half of each concert, judged by Igudesman & Joo. The winner will receive free tickets to an upcoming Pittsburgh Symphony concert.
Igudesman & Joo: Scary Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Clay Concert Theater, WVU Creative Arts Center, in Morgantown on November 2. Tickets are $27 and $45 and can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900, or by visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/wvu. Student tickets are $13. Student tickets can be purchased at pittsburghsymphony.org/wvustudent. Beginning at 6 p.m. on the day of the concert, tickets may be purchased in the Clay Concert Theater lobby. Single tickets for Canady Symphony Series concerts are available at the WVU Creative Arts Center and Mountainlair Box Office this season during its normal business hours. For more information, call 304-293-SHOW (7469).
The 2015-2016 title sponsors of the Canady Symphony Series at WVU are William and Loulie Canady in memory of Valerie.
CONTACT: Joyce DeFrancesco, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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