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Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts presents musical comedy sensation

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HESSTON, KAN. – The third Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts event of the 2011-12 season will feature the unique collaborative duo of Igudesman & Joo with their groundbreaking show A Little Nightmare Music.

The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31 in the Hesston Mennonite Church sanctuary on the Hesston College campus.

The duo, made up of Aleksey Igudesman on violin and Hyung-ki Joo on piano, are classical musicians who have taken the world by storm with their unique and hilarious theatrical shows, which combine comedy with classical music and popular culture. Collectively, their clips on YouTube have gathered more than 15 million hits, and they have appeared on live television in several countries, including an exclusive interview for CNN.

“Igudesman & Joo has become an international sensation in large part thanks to their sidesplitting YouTube videos in the tradition of Victor Borge and Peter Shickele – world class musicians with a brilliant sense of comic timing,” said HBPA director Matthew Schloneger.

Igudesman & Joo both attended the Yehudi Menuhin School for musically gifted children in Cobham, Surrey, United Kingdom, where they met at the age of 12. They created A Little Nightmare Music in 2004, which premiered at the Vienna Musikverein. Since then, they have performed the show worldwide as a duo and also with major symphony orchestras in Big Nightmare Music as they make classical music accessible to a wider and younger audience. They have been joined in their sketches several times by many of classical music’s biggest names, including Emanuel Ax, Janine Jansen, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Viktoria Mullova and Julian Rachlin.

The duo has collaborated with actor Roger Moore on several occasions for UNICEF. They also performed Igudesman’s original sketch The Music Critic, a collage of some of the most critical classical music critiques of the last centuries with actor John Malkovich playing the role of the critic.

Individually, Igudesman has worked with musicians ranging from Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer to multi-Grammy Award winning vocalist Bobby McFerrin. He studied violin with Boris Kuschnir at the Vienna Conservatoire before beginning a career performing, arranging and composing for his string trio, Trilogy.

Joo has worked with Academy Award winning composer Vangelis and was chosen by Rock and Roll legend Billy Joel to arrange and record Joel’s classical compositions, which reached number one on the Billboard charts. Joo began playing piano at the age of eight and studied with Nina Svetlanova, Richard Goode and Oleg Maisenberg at the Manhattan (New York) School of Music. In 2001 he founded the piano trio “Dimension” with Rafal Payne and Thomas Carroll. He also developed a personal style workshop, entitled “The Inner and Outer ***** for a Musician,” which aims to encourage young musicians to experience music and life from a different perspective.

“The duo just celebrated the New Year with a performance at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and will be performing in Germany, London and Switzerland this spring in addition to their U.S. tour,” said Schloneger. “We’re thrilled to be hosting them for their first appearance in Kansas.”

Remaining concerts in the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series include traditional Irish music and dance rhythms with the highly acclaimed Celtic Crossroads and ancient choral music by Rose Ensemble. Visit for dates and times.

Single ticket prices for Igudesman & Joo range from $15 to $18 depending on seating section, with discounts available for students and senior citizens.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 620-327-8158 (Hesston College) or 316-284-5205 (Bethel College), e-mail or visit the HBPA website at

This program is presented in part by the cities of Hesston and North Newton, with generous underwriting by area patrons.

The Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts Series, now in its 30th year, started in 1982 as the Hesston Performing Arts Series (HPA) with funding and planning provided by Hesston College and the Hesston community. In 1998, HPA planners launched a partnership with Bethel College (North Newton) and the name changed to Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts. Hesston College and Bethel College host five performances by world-renowned or regionally acclaimed artists each year.

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