Simone Dinnerstein: Upcoming Virtual Performance Highlights

Dec. 15-31: Miller Theatre – Live from Columbia
Jan. 8-10: Music Worcester

A Character of Quiet – Music of Schubert & Glass – Released Sept. 18
No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart

LISTEN: Apple Music | Spotify

“lean, knowing, and unpretentious elegance” – The New Yorker

“an artist of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity” – The Washington Post

Simone Dinnerstein:

New York, NY – Committed to continuing to reach audiences during these challenging times for live performance, Simone Dinnerstein announces virtual performance highlights this season through January 8, 2021, including concerts presented online by Dumbarton Oaks, the Boulder Philharmonic, ArtsRock, Oregon Bach Festival, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, and Music Worcester. Dinnerstein’s repertoire for the fall season is wide ranging and includes music by Philip Glass, Richard Danielpour, J.S. Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Satie, and Couperin.

The concerts follow shortly after the release of Dinnerstein’s latest album, A Character of Quiet, by Orange Mountain Music on September 18. The new album includes Philip Glass’s Etudes No. 16, No. 6 and No. 2 paired with Franz Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960. Dinnerstein recorded it over the course of two evenings at her home in Brooklyn in June 2020, during the quiet of the New York City lockdown, with her longtime producer and friend Adam Abeshouse. It reached the number one spot on the Billboard Classical Chart, and was described by NPR as, “music that speaks to a sense of the world slowing down,” and by The New Yorker as, “a reminder that quiet can contain multitudes.”

Dinnerstein will perform music from the album presented by Dumbarton Oaks recorded in their historic Music Room (Oct. 31-Nov. 6); ArtsRock, hosted by The Howard Stern Show co-host and Dinnerstein’s longtime friend Robin Quivers (Nov. 15, live at 2pm ET); and Miller Theatre at Columbia University for the Live from Columbia series (Dec. 15-31). The Washington Post wrote of her previous performance at Wolf Trap, “Schubert revels in tone color, this piece in particular, and in Dinnerstein’s hands an astonishing richness of opulence, brilliance, muted hues and quiet clarity spoke eloquently and moved inevitably in an intense and moving performance.” Of her concert at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, the San Francisco Classical Voice remarked, “To conceive of the repetitions characteristic of Glass’s work as mechanized is tempting. Yet each of Dinnerstein’s returns to these phrases, as well as their analogues in the Schubert, seemed organic, even unexpected, as fluid as breathing.”

Dinnerstein writes in her notes for this album about the similarities between the two composers, and their relevance to her making this album during this time: “I love their pared down quality, their economy, their ability to change everything by changing just one note in a chord. Their asceticism suited the moment. But there is a sensual element in both, too, because the human voice is central to Glass and Schubert’s sound worlds. They both create a feeling of a solitary journey, a sense of time being trapped through repeated vision and revision as the music tries to work itself to a conclusion.”

With the Boulder Philharmonic, where she is an Artistic Partner, Dinnerstein will both play and conduct a concert titled The Beauty of Bach. The program includes J.S. Bach’s Erbarm’ Dich (arr. Philip Lasser), Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor with flutist Christina Jennings, and Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 with Jennings and violinist Charles Wetherbee. The performance was recorded in September in the Brungard Aviation hangar at Boulder Municipal Airport, with social distancing precautions in place, and streams on November 14 at 7:30pm MT.

Dinnerstein’s concert presented by Oregon Bach Festival on December 6, 2020 at 2pm PT features the world premiere of Grammy-winning composer Richard Danielpour’s An American Mosaic, a set of fifteen miniatures commemorating segments of the American population that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including parents, front line workers, caretakers, and those who have lost their lives to the virus. Danielpour, from Los Angeles, and Dinnerstein, from New York, embarked on this collaboration over the summer, and have discussed, prepared, and rehearsed the piece entirely via email, phone, and Zoom. Danielpour says of the new work, “In these challenging and unparalleled times, I believe that music and our accessibility to it is even more important than it might have been in the past. When certain artistic works speak to all of us, and unite us, rather than divide us, these works become a catalyst for hope, courage, and consolation.” Dinnerstein is also recording An American Mosaic for commercial release in spring 2021. Transcriptions created by Danielpour for Dinnerstein of J.S. Bach’s “Agnus Dei” from the Mass in B minor, as well as “Wenn Ich einmal soll scheiden” and “Epilogue Chorus: Wir setzen, uns mit Tränen nieder,” from the St. Matthew Passion, complete the December program.

For Music Worcester, Dinnerstein’s program includes Schumann’s Arabesque in C Major, Op. 18 and Kreisleriana, Op. 16, Glass’s Mad Rush, Satie’s Gnossienne No. 3, and Couperin’s Les Barricades Mystérieuses and Le Tic-Toc-Choc, ou Les Maillotins. It will be recorded in the historic Mechanics Hall in Worcester and will stream from January 8 at 8pm through January 10 at 8pm.

Simone Dinnerstein’s Upcoming Virtual Performances

Dec. 15 at 7pm ET – Dec. 31, 2020 at 7pm ET: Miller Theatre at Columbia University
Schubert & Glass


Jan. 8 at 8pm ET – Jan. 10, 2021 at 8pm ET: Music Worcester

Music by Schumann, Glass, Satie, and Couperin



About Simone Dinnerstein: Pianist Simone Dinnerstein has a distinctive musical voice. She first came to wider public attention in 2007 through her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, reflecting an aesthetic that was both deeply rooted in the score and profoundly idiosyncratic. She is, wrote the New York Times, “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.”

Since that recording, she has had a busy performing career. She has played with orchestras ranging from the New York Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra to the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai. She has performed in venues from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Seoul Arts Center and the Sydney Opera House. She has made ten albums, all of which topped the Billboard classical charts, with repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Ravel.

In recent years, Simone has created projects that express her broad musical interests. Following her recording ​Mozart in Havana,​ she brought the Havana Lyceum Orchestra from Cuba to the United States for the very first time, raising the funding, booking the concerts, and organizing their housing and transport. Together, Simone and the orchestra played eleven concerts from Miami to Boston. Philip Glass composed his ​Piano Concerto No. 3​ for Simone, co-commissioned by twelve American and Canadian orchestras. She collaborated with choreographer Pam Tanowitz to create ​New Work for Goldberg Variations,​ which was met with widespread critical acclaim. Working with Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet she premiered André Previn and Tom Stoppard’s ​Penelope​ at the Tanglewood, Ravinia and Aspen music festivals. Most recently she has created her own string ensemble, ​Baroklyn, w​hich she directs from the keyboard. The performance she led of them playing Bach’s cantata ​Ich Habe Genug ​in March 2020 was the last concert she gave before New York City shut down.

Simone is committed to giving concerts in non-traditional venues and to audiences who don’t often hear classical music. For the last three decades she has played concerts throughout the United States for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to the widespread dissemination of classical music. It was for the Piatigorsky Foundation that she gave the first piano recital in the Louisiana state prison system at the Avoyelles Correctional Center. She has also performed at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in a concert organized by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Simone founded ​Neighborhood Classics i​n 2009, a concert series open to the public and hosted by New York City public schools to raise funds for their music education programs. She also created a program called Bachpacking during which she takes a digital keyboard to elementary school classrooms, helping young children get close to the music she loves. She is a committed supporter and proud alumna of Philadelphia’s Astral Artists, which supports young performers.

Simone counts herself fortunate to have studied with three unique artists: Solomon Mikowsky, Maria Curcio and Peter Serkin, very different musicians who shared the belief that playing the piano is a means to something greater. The Washington Post comments that “ultimately, it is Dinnerstein’s unreserved identification with every note she plays that makes her performance so spellbinding.” In a world where music is everywhere, she hopes that it can still be transformative.

Simone Dinnerstein lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, son and dog, less than a mile from the hospital in which she was born.

Photo by Tanya Braganti

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