The Austin Chronicle

Austin Symphony Orchestra

Duck! Those Karamazovs are flying this way.

By Robert Faires, December 26, 2008, Arts

It's been a year of formidable musical challenges for the Austin Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven's Ninth, Brahms' Fourth, Christopher Theofanidis' Field of Infinite Forms, playing with Yo-Yo Ma. But ASO may have saved the biggest for the last two nights of 2008: playing with the Flying Karamazov Brothers. I mean, how can one be expected to play serious music with these zanies constantly throwing gags (and occasionally mallets) at one?

The Ks, a primo juggling and vaudeville team for 35 years, have lately turned to abusing orchestras with a concert that includes J.S. Bach's Two-Part Invention #4 performed on marimba by two Karamazovs juggling three mallets each (as Johann originally intended it, they claim); an homage to Japanese taiko drumming played on meticulously tuned cardboard boxes; Mozart's First Bassoon Concerto played on the euphonium; and Rossini's William Tell transformed into a hip-hop comic ballet. If you've yet to witness a corps of classical musicians crack up or just want to close out the year in convulsions of laughter, this concert is highly recommended.

The Austin Symphony's Holiday Pops featuring the Flying Karamazov Brothers takes place Tuesday & Wednesday, Dec. 30 & 31, 8pm, at the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd. For more information, call 476-6064 or visit

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