A SLIGHTLY UNUSUAL BIO FOR A VERY UNUSUAL MAN – Aleksey Igudesman was born in Leningrad at a very young age. He is known as a violinist, composer, conductor, comedian, film maker, actor, writer, poet, and entrepreneur, but his secret passion is cooking, eating out in luxurious restaurants and writing reviews on tripadvisor.
THE VIOLINIST – He has never won any competitions, mainly because he has never entered any. During his studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School, he read the entire plays of Shaw, Wilde and Chekhov, which didn’t improve his violin playing, but made him feel foolishly somewhat superior to other less intellectually endowed, yet harder practising, colleagues. After studying the violin with acclaimed pedagogue Boris Kuschnir in Vienna and being told many times by many people that they were rather worried about his future, Igudesman embarked on a successful career playing concerts around the world, composing music for movies and humans and working with famous people like Hans Zimmer, John Malkovich, Roger Moore and other people who are less famous, but just as great… Aleksey Igudesman plays on a Santo Seraphin violin from the year 1717, which is kindly loaned to him by ERSTE BANK. His strings of choice are by Thomastik-Infeld.
THE COMPOSER AND CONDUCTOR – Igudesman writes a lot of music. He has known to start and finish works before breakfast. Which may be less impressive in light of the fact that he sometimes eats breakfast in the evening. His compositions are published by Universal Edition and have been performed worldwide by soloists, ensembles and orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony Orchestra, often with his participation as a solo violinist and conductor. Igudesman has written for and performed as a soloist on several movie soundtracks. He has worked particularly closely with Academy Award-winning film composer Hans Zimmer on numerous movies, including “Sherlock Holmes” which received an Oscar nomination for the Best Original Score. Igudesman‘s commissions in 2018 include a whole evening of music for the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, a piece for two violins and orchestra for Vadim Repin and Clara-Jumi Kang, and a work for violin solo and 100 violinists for Daniel Hope, as well as numerous publications on Universal Edition and Modern Works. In 2018 Igudesman will conduct the Vienna Chamber Orchestra in his own New Years concert at the main hall of the Vienna Konzerthaus.
THE COMEDIAN – IGUDESMAN & JOO – Igudesman partners with pianist Hyung-ki Joo and together they perform as IGUDESMAN & JOO, a name which surprisingly enough took them some years to find. Their duo shows and shows with symphony and chamber orchestra, have received much acclaim around the world. Clips have been watched on YouTube over 45 million times and as a duo, they have performed with Gidon Kremer, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen, Viktoria Mullova, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yuja Wang and John Malkovich, among others. Igudesman & Joo have performed in front of half a million people, alongside rock legends like Simple Minds, Kim Wilde, Sinead O’Connor, Tears for Fears and Robin Gibb from the Bee Gees. Apart from touring extensively around the world with Igudesman & Joo, he performs his solo show “Fasten Seat Belts”. Strangely enough this solo shows has several special guests, like the dancer Manaho Shimokawa, the violinist Kristina Suklar and the percussionist and composer Lucy Landymore. Which doesn‘t make it that „solo“ anymore, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
THE FILM MAKER AND ACTOR – Aleksey Igudesman has directed, produced and starred in the feature-length comedy/documentary “Noseland”, featuring, among others, Julian Rachlin, John Malkovich and Sir Roger Moore. Noseland has been premiered in 14 festivals around the world and won the “Most Entertaining Documentary” award at the Doc Miami International Film Festival. Igudesman stared in an Austrian TV series broadcasted by ORF, entitled “Du Kunst Mich”, where he features talents from the fields of music, dance, photography and fashion. He is co-founder of the production company „Music Traveler Productions“, with which he is currently working on a new TV series entitled “The Loser Takes It All” based on Igudesman & Joo’s violin and piano competition set in Sion, Switzerland. He is also working on a live filming of the show „UpBeat“ together with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Future plans include various TV series and feature length movies, featuring real musicians at the center of the story. THE WRITER AND POET Igudesman created and tours in 2018/19 with “The Music Critic” – a sardonic mix of the most evil music critiques of the last centuries written about some of the greatest works of music. John Malkovich slips into the role of the evil critic who believes the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev (and the likes) to be weary and dreary. He has performed his violin duets in the project „Violins of the World“, in which his own poems are recited by Sir Roger Moore. His poetry is often published together with his music on UE. Together with Joo, Igudesman is planning to release their book „Saving the World“ in 2019 – a book about how to live in a more creative way, how improve ones life and hence save the world.
THE ENTREPRENEUR – MUSIC TRAVELER – Together with Julia Rhee, Aleksey Igudesman is the co-founder of ‘Music Traveler’, an app and online platform which allows musicians to book practice rooms anywhere any time. ‘Music Traveler’ has already been launched in Austria with plans to expand quickly around the world. ‘Music Traveler’ aims to make instruments and music in general more available to musicians and music lovers world-wide.
THE COOK AND FOODIE – Igudesman has been an inspired cook for well over two decades and has created innovative gastronomic concepts, although be it only in his own kitchen. In his „improvisational cuisine“ he does the shopping himself void of any plan of the courses to come, letting the fresh quality produce available dictate his menu, right up to the moment where it is served. On the other hand, in his own „transformational cuisine“ he likes to serve a multicourse menu, where each course magically transforms into the next one, carefully planning the transformation where parts of the previous course often gets changed on the plate to become the next one. Igudesman has visited 8 out of the top ten restaurants in the world and often writes in his own private food journals as well as on tripadvisor, where he has currently written over 120 reviews. In the future he plans to incorporate food more into his film making and even his live performances. He has collaborated with the top restaurant Taubenkobel in an artistic project, creating an edible menu to be consumed at various parts of a live performance. This has been featured on ORF, Austrian television.
Manaho Shimokawa is a performer, dancer, director, choreographer and model. Born in Fukuoka (Japan) she had a passion for dance ever since she was able to crawl.
After many years of classical ballet, she came to study contemporary dance at Konservatorium Privatuniversität Wien (Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität), Austria in 2009. Under the guidance of her tutor Esther Balfe, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2013 and has not stopped moving since then.
Her love of diverse cultures, led her to explore Forsythe Technic, Break Dance, Vogueing, Latin, and Japanese traditional dance, among many others styles.
Creating her very own style of dance by melting genres, she likes to describe herself as a “Chameleon Dancer”.
Shimokawa’s diverse projects include collaborations with choreographers Michael Turinsky and Jérôme Bel, painter Leo Stopfer, make-up artist Shlomit Migay, the band INCUBUS, Sofa Surfers and violinist Aleksey Igudesman among many others.
Since 2016, Shimokawa has directed short films “celebration”, and “A Last One in Color”. The premier of “A Last One in Color” was shown at the opening of the Japanese film festival JAPANNUAL in Vienna.
Together with Igudesman, Shimokawa formed MAD, “Music And Dance”. They push the borders between movement, music and improvisation. In 2016 they toured in Austria, including performances in the Vienna Konzerthaus and plan to continue their collaboration with the aim of spreading MADness around the globe. MAD released their new piece “kitchen dance” in ORF “Du Kunst Mich” in the frame of KulturMontag.
In 2016 Shimokawa toured as a dance soloist with orchestra in Russia at Vadim Repin’s Trans-Siberian Arts Festival and in Japan in Miyazaki International Music Festival of Tsugio Tokunaga, since then she is frequent guest in Miyazaki. In collaboration with Igudesman, she has created highly unique and interactive choreographies which include audience and orchestra participation using the symphonic music of composers such as Strauss, Shostakovich and Rossini.
With her old friend Yury Revich, who studied in Konservatorium Privatuniversität Wien (Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität) together, they collaborate in the platform of Yury Revich’s Friday Nights. They performed in front of “Der Kuss” by Klimt, which was all first performance of history of Belvedere. They performed semperdepot, Musikverein/Vienna, also in Theater Megaron/Athens.
Together with Esther Balfe, Shimokawa performed in “Ganymed Fe male” led by Jacqueline Kornmüller in 2017.
Shimokawa was a cover model of KURIER, and appeared in ORANGEFrance magazine. She has worked with Photographer Andreas H. Bitesnich, and make-up artist Dirk Nebel. Since 2015, she signed a contract with BODY and SOUL Model Agency.
Manaho Shimokawa, or Mana to her friends, intends to bring a smile to the face of every person she works with and performs for. For her that is the ultimate height of success.
Lucy Landymore is an award winning multi-percussionist, specialising in drum kit, Vibraphone, Marimba and Latin percussion. She is in high demand across the UK and Europe, performing alongside the likes of Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer, Gabrielle Aplin, Guthrie Govan, Johnny Marr, Myles Sanko, Stewart Copeland, Igudesman & Joo, and many more.
Her musical interest spans many genres, ranging from Pop, Jazz and Classical through to Latin American music. In Summer 2016, Lucy played percussion for the Hans Zimmer Live Arena tour, playing 38 performances of works including The Dark Knight, Lion King, and Interstellar.
She performed on Latin percussion alongside Steward Copeland for the per- formance of his album Orchestralli. In the last year she has often performed as a guest lead percussionist and drummer with Igudesman & Joo.
Lucy regularly performs with various DJs, including High On Heels, in pres- tigious venues across London and Europe and most recently, a live show with the original cast of Jersey Boys.
Together with percussionist Angela Hui she formed OctaDuo. They perform original music across London and the UK, incorporating a multitude of inst- ruments and styles.
Lucy performs solo recitals and is also very passionate about Salsa, Samba, Locking and Breakdance.
Lucy was offered a full scholarship from Soirée d’Or to attend the Royal College of Music, where she studied percussion under David Hockings, and drum kit under Ralph Salmins. In her second year, she won the RCM Concerto competition and performed Zivkovic‘s Tales from the Centre of the Earth concerto for multi-percussion and marimba with the RCM Symphony Orchestra.
After winning the percussion category of the 2010 BBC Young Musician of the Year, Lucy was asked back to perform at the opening of the 2012 BBC Young Musician of the Year.
She regularly plays in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Hammersmith Apollo and the Royal Opera House. As a soloist, she performs recitals across the UK in venues such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, BBC Hoddinott Hall, Ely Cathedral and Kettles Yard, to name a few. In 2013, she appeared on the SkyArts TV program Michael Parkinson: Masterclass where she took part in a master class with Evelyn Glennie.