Founder @ Music Traveler
A SLIGHTLY UNUSUAL BIO FOR A VERY UNUSUAL MAN
Aleksey Igudesman, born in St. Petersburg, Russia, is known as a violinist, but has also established himself as a composer, conductor, actor, film maker and entrepreneur.
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 recent compositions and commissions 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 conducted 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 special guests, like the dancer Manaho Shimokawa 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. Currently he co-hosts the TV talk-show “Reden in der Eden” where his latest guest was Hollywood legend Hans Zimmer.
He is co-founder of the production company “Music Traveler Productions“, with which he produced a 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 and “The Music Critic“ with John Malkovich.
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 2020/21 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 published the book „Saving the World“ in 2019 – a book about how to live in a more creative way, how to improve ones life and hence save the world.
THE ENTREPRENEUR – MUSIC TRAVELER
In 2015, Igudesman had the idea for the start-up Music Traveler, an app and online platform to book rehearsal spaces anywhere in the world.
Together with Julia Rhee, Igudesman is the co-founder of Music Traveler, which launched in 2017 and enables musicians and music lovers to play music world-wide.
Igudesman is planning to launch “Music From Home” in cooperation the Karajan Institut, on Music Traveler, to help musicians to sell tickets and promote their performances live streamed from their home.
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 multi-course 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.