Igudesman and Joo


Igudesman and Joo combine music and comedy in their  ‘scary concert.’

Classical music is set for a costume change, as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra brings its "Scary Concert" to Morgantown.

In a special Halloween-themed performance, the team made up of violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-Ki Joo will cast their spell on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In a new take on classical music, Igudesman and Joo will recreate an eerie and chilling musical mix, sending the audience into a fear-filled frenzy.

"Halloween is a wonderfully zany holiday because it combines things that are really scary and really fun," Igudesman said.  "It’s a time to let the folly out, perfect for us."

Since the age of 13, Igudesman and Joo have been partners, experimenting and expanding on pieces that incorporate humor with classical music. For the two, music always comes first and humor second. While studying in England at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the two found themselves taking classical music too seriously.

In an attempt to change the tragic and somber feel of classical music, Igudesman and Joo found themselves experimenting with comedy in classics. The duo’s interesting twist is derived from the inspiration they pull from musicians who utilize comedy in their sets, such as Victor Borge, Dudley Moore and PDQ Bach.

While the two cite musicians who combine classics with comedy, they said their main influence stems from Monty Python. With every onstage appearance, Igudesman and Joo attempt to change the world of classical music, making it enjoyable for those who were once to terrified to listen to the genre. The two pride themselves on the fact that music is for everyone, and their shows require no underlying understanding of classical music.

Since the duo’s start, they have seen more than 30 million YouTube views, hosted international shows and have received critical acclaims from The New York Times, The Pittsburgh Tribune and Vanity Fair.

"If we had to describe our show in one sentence, we would say Monty Python meets Mozart, or South Park meets Bach," the duo said.

With themes of horror and humor, Igudesman and Joo will provide the audience with a set of chilling stories, which will unfold in a high-energy, musical frenzy. Keeping true to the Halloween spirit, Igudesman and Joo will of course command their clan of spooky ghouls and goblins donned in full costume.

With a full-orchestra clad in Halloween costumes, "Scary Concert" will feature some of the duo’s original pieces such as "Horror Movie" and "Danse Macabre." Taking classic pieces such as Ravel’s "Le Gibet," which tells the ghastly story of a hanged man’s corpse, Joo and Ingudesman will recreate popular works, through their usual outlandish on stage performance.

"We are both serious classical musicians and we love music passionately," the duo said.

"We are never making fun of classical music – we are having fun with classical music. What we do make fun of is the whole business and ceremony surrounding classical music and how we as musicians take ourselves so seriously."

In Igudesman and Joo’s "Scary Concert", the two will attempt combine the audience’s terror with tears of laughter. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s "Scary Concert" premieres in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre in the Creative Arts Center on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, visit http://pittsburghsymphony.org/.