A Historical and Hysterical Guide to the Orchestra
A curious customer walks into a shop where the sounds of an orchestra are playing. Upon finally getting the shopkeeper’s attention, the customer asks:
- “I would love to be part of an orchestra.”
- “You’ve come to the right place.”
- “Which instrument would you like to play?”
- “Which one do you recommend?”
- “Ah, well, for that we have to go back to the beginning!”
- “Back to the beginning of the orchestra?”
- “No, back to the beginning of everything!
And so the Shopkeeper begins his fascinating guide to each and every instrument of the orchestra from its invention to its inclusion in the symphony. Along this time travelling journey, as each instrument is unveiled, we also discover about its historical context. Did you know that flutes used to be made of mammoth bone and vulture wings? Or that timpani used to be played on horses? And is it a coincidence that cellos were made fatter than violins just around the same time as chocolate was brought over to Europe from Mexico?
Packed with original music to showcase each instrument, well-researched historical facts, and the trademark goofiness of Igudesman & Joo, audiences and listeners of all ages will feel inspired to discover more about the orchestra.
The piece was commissioned and given its world premiere by the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich for their 150thAnniversary Celebration Concert.
What others say
“The funniest show on music and the life of musicians I have seen since the great Victor Borge. I couldnt stop crying of laughter for the whole evening. Go see these gifted musicians. What they show is life at its funniest side. It isn’t just entertaining, it is hilarious! “
Prior to our thanksgiving concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Music Director Manfred Honeck and the dynamic duo Igudesman and Joo, there was much scepticism within the organization as to how the orchestra and audience would react. However, our minds were put at ease the minute they arrived! They were incredibly professional, obviously very talented, and provided a breath of fresh air for the orchestra and PSO staff. It was such a joy to have them with us, and we received such great feedback from our patrons and the musicians that we immediately reinvited them to join us for a special concert with the orchestra the following year!
“Hearing and seeing Igudesman and Joo performing live is experiencing pure musicianship, wonderful acting, sophistication and a terrific sense of humor. Their lack of pretentiousness and the joy of their music-making offer an irresistible invitation into the world of classical music. I can’t wait to bring them back!”