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Igudesman and Joo Give Free Master Class At Tilles Saturday

Presented by the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, the '8 to 88 Music Education' program is free to Long Island music students.

Hyung-ki Joo and Aleksey Igudesman, Credit: Courtesy Photo
Hyung-ki Joo and Aleksey Igudesman, Credit: Courtesy Photo

If you think classical music is boring and stuffing, chances are you’ve never seen the antics of Igudesman and Joo. Classically trained, the two – Aleksey Igudesman on violin, Hyung-ki Joo, piano – travel the world, mixing comedy and pop culture into their art, all the while making classical music accessible and fun.

On Saturday at 4 p.m., Igudesman and Joo are bringing “8 to 88 Music Education,” a master workshop for children of all ages, to The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Brookville. Presented by the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, the program is free to Long Island music students, who are encouraged to bring their instruments.

The two are offering the master class just hours before their 8 p.m. performance of "A Little Nightmare Music," which The New York Times called "a wholly novel take on the word slapstick" that is "fueled by genuine, dazzling virtuosity."

Igudesman and Joo fans include Billy Joel, Joshua Bell and Emanuel Ax, who have collaborated with them.

The duo met at age 12, at the Yehudi Menuhin School, in England, and since then, have remained strong friends and writing partners. And they haven’t let go of their inner-child.

“Through the workshop we’re trying to encourage people to keep on playing with their instruments like a game,” Igudesman says in a YouTube video about the program.

“There’s nothing like the imagination of a child,” Joo chimes in.  

Don't be surprised if during their onstage antics you catch a mix of skits, step-dancing, performing while blindfolded and laughter that is somehow woven into Mozart, Gershwin and Rachmaninoff.

“Somehow society tends to oppress that incredible imagination, but we’ve managed to keep a little bit of that,” Joo points out, in the YouTube video.”That keeps us fresh and creative, and what we want to do is to try and to re-ignite that childlike imagination that all of have within us.”

“When you loosen up a certain physical aspect of your performance than suddenly it just sounds different it’s looser and more relaxed and therefore better,” Igudesman notes. 

See the YouTube video.

To attend the 90-minute program at Tilles Center, contact Paul Graf at 631-848-2366 or ancientrkr@aol.com. Graf is coordinating registration for the first 450 students and their families. 

Registered students only will be able to purchase $5 tickets to Igudesman and Joo's "A Little Nightmare Music" performance at Tilles Saturday at 8 p.m. Otherwise, tickets range from $35-$70 for the evening performance.

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