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Yehudi Menuhin School, Manhattan School of Music
The pianist and composer Hyung-ki Joo enraptures audiences with his jovial and contagious stage presence as well as his high-energy, virtuosic performance. The English pianist of South Korean heritage has performed as a soloist with renowned orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Warsaw Sinfonia and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Alongside piano performance, Hyung-ki Joo takes on various musical roles and develops special projects that present him as orchestra leader, communicator, arranger and composer. This season he appears as a conductor and pianist with groups including the Trondheim Soloists with the programme Keys Ringing and Strings Attached, which includes arrangements of works by Debussy as well as his own compositions based on works by Edvard Grieg. In 2020 he will lead the UNOF (Norwegian National Youth Orchestra) in his Haydn Seek programme, which brings the humour and elements of surprise in Haydn’s music to the fore. As a soloist, an invitation from the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santi Cecilia under Sakari Oramo is a high point of the current season.
A love for chamber music has shaped Hyung-ki Joo’s musical career, and has led to cooperation with artists including Gilles Apap, Renaud Capucon, Michael Collins, Martin Fröst, Janine Jansen, Dame Felicity Lott, Mischa Maisky, Julian Rachlin, Radovan Vlatkovic and the Belcea Quartet as well as members of the Alban Berg Quartet, the Artis Quartet, Meta4 and the Quatuor Ébène. The piano trio he founded in 2001 with violinist Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne and cellist Thomas Carroll won the prestigious Parkhouse Award in London in 2005. Their seven-year collaboration culminated in a highly-praised recording of Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1 and Frank Bridge’s Phantasie No. 1. In 2021 he will present a new trio project with members of the Quatuor Ébène, Pierre Colombet and Raphaël Merlin.
Hyung-ki Joo’s compositions have been performed by renowned ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, the Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin and Meta4, and have been recorded by artists such as the pianist Shani Diluka and the Ahn Trio. His works have been published by Universal Edition and Modern Works. In 2001 Hyung-ki Joo recorded the first album of Billy Joel’s works for piano solo, Fantasies and Delusions, for Columbia/Sony Classical; the album stayed at no.1 of the Billboard Classical Album Charts for 18 weeks. He has also appeared in several films, including Pianomania, Noseland and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music.
A passionate communicator, Hyung-ki Joo works to inspire the next generation of musicians, himself having been accepted by the Yehudi Menuhin school at the age of 10, before continuing his studies at the Manhattan School of Music. In his Beyond the Practice Room workshops, he places the focus on the joy of making music and encourages participants to explore other directions beyond “classical” performance. He loves to work regularly with students, youth orchestras and ensembles.
In 2004 Hyung-ki Joo and violinist Aleksey Igudesman founded the duo IGUDESMAN & JOO. Their first show A Little Nightmare Music, a combination of classical music, comedy and pop culture, took the music world by storm. To date, their videos have been viewed over 45 million times on YouTube, and IGUDESMAN & JOO have since given guest performances of their programmes with orchestras in the world’s greatest concert halls and festivals. Illustrious musical guests such as Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Gidon Kremer, Viktoria Mullova, Yuja Wang and actors John Malkovich and Sir Roger Moore have taken part in their sketches. IDUGESMAN & JOO have received commissions to create new works for the New York Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Düsseldorf Symphoniker and the Oslo Philharmonic. In October 2019, their joint book Save the World was released by the edition-a publishers.