Simone Dinnerstein, Pamelia Kurstin and Alvin Epstein Set for Le Poisson Rouge, 11/19
Classical music and avant-garde cabaret merge when pianist Simone Dinnerstein, thereminist Pamelia Kurstin, and actor Alvin Epstein join forces for the first time on Monday, November 19 at 7:30pm at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, NYC). Together they journey through music by Bach, Mozart, and Chopin to Poulenc’s The Story of Babar the Elephant for piano and narrator, weaving together disparate elements in an unusual evening of poetry, music, improvisation, and narration. The unorthodox trio will repeat their program the next evening, Tuesday, November 20 at 7pm, as part of Dinnerstein’s Neighborhood Classics concert series at PS 321 (180 7th Avenue, Brooklyn), which raises funds for New York City public schools.
French composer Francis Poulenc’s musical work The Story of Babar the Elephant from 1940 is based on the 1931 children’s story of the same title by Jean de Brunhof. Poulenc initially improvised the piece while living outside of Paris to amuse the young family of his cousin, but eventually wrote it down when it proved to be very popular with many of the children in the neighborhood. Poulenc uses evocative colors to illustrate scenes in the narrated story, which is divided into distinct sections entitled “Lullaby,” “Nocturne,” “A Hymn,” “A March,” and more.
Having been identified as “an utterly distinctive voice in the forest of Bach interpretation” by The New York Times, American pianist Simone Dinnerstein performs in concert halls around the globe. Her recordings have shot to the top of multiple “Best of” lists and the Billboard Classical Chart. In addition to her busy performing schedule, Dinnerstein is dedicated to her community and can also be found sharing her music in schools, community centers, and prisons. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son; she is managed by IMG Artists and is a Sony Classical Artist.
American theremin player Pamelia Kurstin is known to cross all boundaries of music performance, demonstrating “how to squeeze soul from an instrument you can't even touch” (TED). Well-known for her work on the theremin as well as the bass, Kurstin is supremely versed in jazz to rock in venues that range from the concert hall to the movie theatre. Kurstin currently makes her home in Vienna, performing with eccentric rockers Barbez among several others. Her most recent solo album, Thinking Out Loud, was released on John Zorn’s Tzadik label.
Actor Alvin Epstein has performed in front of audiences for more than 65 years, earning him the title “one of the great classical actors of his generation” by New York Magazine. As an actor and director, Epstein has worked on 150 productions in theaters around the globe, some of which have included King Lear, Waiting for Godot, and The Threepenny Opera. Following his service in World War II, his acting career began to manifest after studying dance with Martha Graham and mime with Marcel Marceau. Epstein currently resides in New York City, after spending several decades on the regional theatre circuit.
About Neighborhood Classics: Simone Dinnerstein founded the Neighborhood Classics series at PS 321, the school that her son attended and where her husband teaches, in 2009 in an effort to build relationships at a local level between neighborhoods and musicians. These one-hour, family-friendly performances, which are hosted by Dinnerstein and feature musicians she has admired and collaborated with during her career, are open to the public and raise funds for the schools. The musicians performing donate their time and talent to the program, and the concerts are organized and administered by parent volunteers and faculty members. At PS 321, proceeds benefit the school’s PTA, which helps to fund art, chess, band, and chorus programs. For more information, visit www.neighborhoodclassics.com.
The concert will take place on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 7:30pm at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, NYC. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 day of show at 212.505.FISH or www.lprnyc.com.
On Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 7pm, Neighborhood Classics at PS 321 (180 7th Avenue, Brooklyn) will host the trio. Tickets: $15 at www.neighborhoodclassics.com available beginning on October 15. All proceeds benefit the students of PS 321.
Simone Dinnerstein online: www.simonedinnerstein.com.
Pamelia Kurstin’s TED Talk: www.ted.com/talks/pamelia_kurstin_plays_the_theremin.html