Aleksey Igudesman

It's a pleasure to present the charming violinist and composer, actor, comedian and ultimate foodie, Aleksey Igudesman for this week's Orange Twist!

We all know HELLO STAGE’s favorite color! What’s yours?

I know that HELLO STAGE's favourite color is orange. So I decided my favourite color is lemon. To be precise, it's lemon pie.

What was the best advice a teacher ever gave you?

"Stop making those funny faces while you play!" And the reason why it was such great advice, is because I decided to ignore it!

How has your practice changed with time?

By now I am much more efficient with time management. Especially with something I invented called 'Violaerobics', which combines a full body workout with violin practice. I hope to make an instructional video for all of those lazy violinists some day soon.

What do you think is the most important trait of a successful artist in today’s modern world?

Well, I can name a few key words:

Be authentic, without it costing the quality, essence or realness of your musicianship.
Be open-minded to everything and every type of music without losing your focus on what you really want to do.
Embrace promotion and social media without becoming a total social media slut. A very fine line to tread.

How much time do you spend every day on Facebook, Twitter, and which other ways do you use to promote yourself?

Luckily I am a facebook addict, so spending time to promote my projects comes very naturally. Twitter I do use a tad less, more in combination with Instagram. I find Instagram a fun way to post pictures and share them on Twitter and Facebook. And of course there is HELLO STAGE!

Aleksey, tell us about your latest publications!

My newest releases on UNIVERSAL EDITION, my wonderful publisher are:

A Fishsummer Night's Dream - a new book of violin duets and poems of mine with a CD and drawings by the legendary James Bond actor and my dear friend Sir Roger Moore. The great thing is that a part of the proceeds will go to UNICEF. It will be available in the next weeks, some time mid July. Then there is my 1st String Quartet, which was premiered by the Borusan Quartet a few months ago in Istanbul and will also be available in the shops and online soon. In the fall, in time for our big USA tour, we will be releasing our first Igudesman & Joo book with pieces from A Little Nightmare Music for violin and piano .

There will be many more things released in the next years, including symphonic works, more chamber music and violin and piano works, as well as virtuoso pieces for solo violin. One can check out all the compositions of mine that are available already on the Universal Edition website.

What do you do when you are not playing with Joo?

First and foremost I write music. That is my deepest passion and something that comes quite naturally to me - something I like to do often on a daily bass. This may be in the form of small pieces for children, large symphonic works for orchestra or for movies. I have been lucky enough to often work with my dear friend, legendary film composer Hans Zimmer, who always supports me in all the crazy projects I do.

Then I sometimes tour as a soloist, performing my Solo show or conducting orchestras, especially with my own music. On the 28th of August I will perform in Schloss Reichenau in Austria at ISA, where I will also give a master class.

And on the 30th of August at the Sion Festival in Switzerland, I will do my solo show Fasten Seatbelts with special guest Rusanda Panfili, a wonderful violinist with fabulous dancing skills. She will also join Igudesman & Joo and the League of X-traordinary Musicians on the 10th of September at the Luzern Festival in Switzerland.

Tell us about your food obsession!?

First of all I am an extremely passionate cook. When I am at home in Vienna, I sometimes go to the markets, touch every single vegetable and fruit in order to pick out the best and freshest produce and make an 8 course meal for 8 friends. My oldest friend Julian Rachlin, also HELLO STAGE founding member, lives one street away from me and has in recent years also become a complete cooking addict so we would sometimes combine our efforts! Anyhow, I would start cooking and often not know what I will make that evening - I love staying spontaneous and free, in life, music and art as much as in cooking. On the other hand ones skills are extremely important. I believe I am one of the fastest (and safest) choppers in the world - I even have a Japanese knife with my name on it! (Or at least I think its my name. Some Japanese have translated it as "Baka", whatever that means...)

And when in Rome, like I am on the 9th of July with Igudesman & Joo: BIG Nightmare Music" with the fabulous Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, I try to research the best restaurants, ranging from simple and incredible tasting "holes in the wall" to 3 star Michelin places.

In fact, Bernhard Kerres, the founder of HELLO STAGE, asked me to write a food blog for HELLO STAGE, which I may even do one day, when I am not too busy answering questions for HELLO STAGE!

We eagerly await the food blog! Keep up with Aleksey Igudesman on HELLO STAGE and our course, our favourite musical comedy duo, Igudesman & Joo!
Author: Nina Lucas HELLO STAGE
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