Peak Performances Presents Shanghai Quartet With Simone Dinnerstein And Sphinx Virtuosi

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Peak Performances' 2019-2020 season continues with concerts by the "utterly sublime" (The New York Times) Shanghai Quartet with celebrated guest pianist Simone Dinnerstein (October 5) and one of the nation's most dynamic chamber orchestras, Sphinx Virtuosi (October 6), in a weekend of vibrant classical and new music at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University (1 Normal Ave., Montclair, NJ).

The Detroit-based Sphinx Virtuosi, comprising 18 prizewinning Black and Latinx soloists, makes its Peak Performances debut with a program evoking historical and current struggles for justice and peace, stretching from Venezuela to the American South to Britain to the entirety of our warming planet. The program includes new composition-and titular inspiration-"For Justice and Peace," by Xavier Foley; Philip Herbert's requiem for a life lost to violence, "Elegy: In Memoriam - Stephen Lawrence"; Jessie Montgomery's "Source Code," an homage to African-American artists in the Civil Rights era; Michael Abels' ode to the well-being of earth, "Global Warming"; as well as works by Aldemaro Romero, Béla Bartók, Jennifer Higdon, and Franz Schubert. With "immeasurable power, unwavering command, and soulful beauty" (The Washington Post), these talented young artists address our current moment with rare sensitivity and clarity.

The Shanghai Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Montclair State University's Cali School of Music, is renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique, and distinctive blend of styles, and has become one of the world's foremost chamber ensembles. Of Billboard classical chart-topping pianist Simone Dinnerstein, The Washington Post writes: "[her] intoxicatingly rich, velvety sound always retains agility and translucence. She risks slow tempos that suspend time without sacrificing the musical thread, and when things heat up the room seems ready to burst into flames. Ultimately, it is Dinnerstein's unreserved identification with every note she plays that makes her performance so spellbinding." These two remarkable musical forces come together in a captivating evening of classical music, with a program new to Peak Performances featuring Bedřich Smetana's Quartet No. 1 "From My Life" and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Quartet in G Minor and Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major. The Shanghai Quartet will return for a second concert later in Peak Performances' 2019-2020 season, on February 8.

The Shanghai Quartet and guest pianist Simone Dinnerstein will perform Saturday, October 5, at 8pm and Sphinx Virtuosi will perform Sunday, October 6 at 3pm at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University (1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ).

Immediately after Sphinx Virtuosi's Sunday, October 6 performance, the audience is invited to join members of the company for reflections and responses.

Tickets for both events are affordably priced at $30, and can be purchased at or 973.655.5112. Tickets are always free for Montclair State students.

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