Can Classical Music Be Humorous? Igudesman & Joo Lighten the Mood

By Philip Trapp on Mar 19, 2016 02:40 PM EDT

Can classical music be humorous? Should it be?

Whether your prefer Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, modern, high modern, contemporary or postmodern, would you be willing to assess the genre when animated with some side-splitting comedy and pop culture references? Igudesman & Joo are here to help.

The merrymaking duo of Aleksey Igudesman and Richard Hyung-ki Joo aim to bring classical music to a broader audience by imbuing the proceedings with humor and topical touchstones. Known for their recent stage show "And Now Mozart", preceded by the lauded "A Little Nightmare Music", the pair aspire to inspire audiences everywhere with their unique blend of chamber instrumentation and trendy satire.

In speaking to to the Phoenix New Times, violinist Igudesman summarized how the twosome evaluate their performances, and the reaction it elicits from their fans:

"In one sentence, a perfect way to describe our show is 'Bach meets South Park.' It's based in classical music but branches out into many genres of music such as rock and rap with all sorts of humor. We have a wide audience of folks of all ages who enjoy many different musical genres. Last night we played for 2,700 people in San Francisco that loved the performance."

Creating their first show in 2004, the group have gone on to vividly entertain crowds high and low. As pianist Hyung-ki Joo told Boston NPR affiliate WBUR, their goal is to embolden their audience through humor, hoping to uplift their fans' spirits while amusing their senses:

"We are just trying to have fun and we are succeeding in having fun and audiences are having fun too. And ultimately, if there's any message, we just want people to go out and be creative, whether they are creative musically or creative in their lives. That's kind of what turns us on, just to be creative."

If you're in the mood for some excellent music mixed with hilarious antics, be sure to catch Igudesman & Joo when they roll through your town soon. The act will be performing across the Southwestern United States this spring, as well as a two-night stand at New York University's Skirball Center on March 25 and 26.

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