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Pianist Simone Dinnerstein Gives Virtual Concerts For Duke Performances and Meany Center For The Performing Arts

Committed to continuing to reach audiences during these challenging times for live performance, Simone Dinnerstein announces two upcoming virtual performances presented by Duke Performances on January 30, 2021 and Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington on February 12, 2021. Both of these intimate concerts were professionally filmed at Dinnerstein's home in Brooklyn, NY (see photo above).

Dinnerstein's Duke Performances virtual concert will be available on demand for 72 hours beginning on January 30, 2021 at 8pm ET. General admission tickets are $10 per presentation and Duke Student tickets are available free of charge through the support of the Provost and the Vice Provost for the Arts at Duke University. The first half of Dinnerstein's concert includes J.S. Bach's "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ," BWV 639 (arranged by Busoni) and transcriptions by composer Richard Danielpour for Dinnerstein of J.S. Bach's "Agnus Dei" from the Mass in B minor, and "Wenn Ich einmal soll scheiden" and "Epilogue Chorus: Wir setzen, uns mit Tränen nieder," from the St. Matthew Passion. She will perform the second half of her concert as a suite - Couperin's Les Barricades Mystérieuses; Schumann's Arabesque in C Major, Op. 18; Philip Glass's Mad Rush; and Couperin's Tic Toc Choc.

Simone Dinnerstein's virtual concert for Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington will be available for seven days, beginning on February 12, 2021 at 12pm PT, for free on-demand viewing. Dinnerstein will perform music from her latest album, A Character of Quiet, released in fall 2020 by Orange Mountain Music. The album and concert include Philip Glass's Etudes No. 16 and No. 2 paired with Franz Schubert's Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960. Dinnerstein recorded the album 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 writes in her notes for the 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."

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, which 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 in 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.


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