NEW WORK FOR GOLDBERG VARIATIONS to Make NY/NJ Debut with Peak Performances
Peak Performances presents The New York / New Jersey Premiere of New Work for Goldberg Variations, a project it co-commissioned and developed, October 19-22 at the Alexander Kasser Theater, Peak's state-of-the-art home on the Montclair State University campus.
In New Work for Goldberg Variations, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, "an artist of true expressive force" (The Washington Post), and choreographer Pam Tanowitz, "an unusually gifted and original dance-maker" (The New York Times), collaboratively reinterpret Bach's enigmatic classic. Dinnerstein, one of the foremost Bach interpreters of her generation, will perform the score in expressive dialogue with seven Tanowitz dancers-Maggie Cloud, Jason Collins, Christine Flores, Lindsey Jones, Maile Okamura, Melissa Toogood and Netta Yerushalmy-moving all around her, translating the music into movement with a slyly deconstructed classical dance vocabulary.
In 2007, Dinnerstein rocked the music world with her recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, which ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart in its first week of sales and was named to many "Best of 2007" lists including those of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The New Yorker. Ten years after that recording's release, ready for a new challenge, Dinnerstein proposed to Tanowitz the idea of matching the music with movement.
Both women were intimidated by the challenge of reinterpreting Bach's towering, beloved classic, but their hesitation ultimately motivated them to proceed. "Working together we'll invent our own world," Tanowitz decided. "With our joint expertise, I desire to create something inherently dangerous for both of us as artists, in which everything we reveal to each other is woven into the fabric of [Dinnerstein's] playing and my choreography, making a work that builds on the expectations of the known yet demands the audience to travel with us far into spaces of unexpected delight, of emotional resonance and newly transcendent experience."
Engaging with Bach's essential keyboard work and acknowledging Jerome Robbins' 1971 ballet set to that work, Dinnerstein and Tanowitz aim to radically redefine how a dance/music piece comes to be. New Work for Goldberg Variations is mindful of tradition while pushing against it through the exploration of nuance, and by highlighting women's creative voices.
Dinnerstein and Tanowitz are creating New Work for Goldberg Variations with lighting and visual designer Davison Scandrett, costume designers Reid & Harriet and producer Aaron Mattocks.
New Work for Goldberg Variations premieres amidst a banner year for both Dinnerstein and Tanowitz. In April, Sony Classical released Mozart in Havana, which Dinnerstein recorded in Cuba with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra, to considerable acclaim. The Orchestra joined her on tour in June, making their U.S. debut. In select North American cities in September, in celebration of Philip Glass's 80th birthday, Dinnerstein and the chamber music collective A Far Cry perform a new concerto for piano and strings composed by Glass for Dinnerstein. Baryshnikov Arts Center just announced Tanowitz as the 2017-18 Cage Cunningham Fellow.
Performances of New Work for Goldberg Variations will take place at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University (1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ) October 19 & 20 at 7:30pm, October 21 at 8pm and October 22 at 3pm. Tickets, affordably priced at $20, can be purchased at www.peakperfs.org or 973.655.5112. Running time is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
Companion Programming: A preview and preshow talk with Dinnerstein and Tanowitz, about the musical source of their inspiration, will take place October 19 at 6pm at the Alexander Kasser Theater, Studio 104.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
American pianist Simone Dinnerstein is a searching and inventive artist who is motivated by a desire to find the musical core of every work she approaches. The New York-based pianist gained an international following because of the remarkable success of her recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, which she raised the funds to record. Released in 2007 on Telarc, it ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart in its first week of sales and was named to many "Best of 2007" lists including those of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The New Yorker.
Since then, Dinnerstein has released five acclaimed albums: The Berlin Concert (Telarc), Bach: A Strange Beauty (Sony), Something Almost Being Said (Sony), Bach: Inventions & Sinfonias (Sony) and, this year, Mozart in Havana (Sony). Dinnerstein was the bestselling instrumentalist of 2011 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart and was included in NPR's 2011 100 Favorite Songs from all genres. In spring 2013, Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt released an album together on Sony called Night, a unique collaboration uniting classical, folk, and rock worlds, exploring common terrain and uncovering new musical landscapes. Dinnerstein was among the top ten best-selling artists of 2014 on the Billboard Classical Chart. In February 2015, Sony Classical released Dinnerstein's newest album Broadway-Lafayette, which celebrates the time- honored transatlantic link between France and America and includes Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and Philip Lasser's The Circle and the Child: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, written for Dinnerstein. The album was recorded with conductor Kristjan Järvi and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra by GRAMMY-winning producer Adam Abeshouse.
Dinnerstein's performance schedule has taken her around the world since her triumphant New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in 2005 to venues including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and London's Wigmore Hall; festivals that include the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival, the Aspen, Verbier, and Ravinia Festivals, and the Stuttgart Bach Festival; and performances with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Kristjan Järvi's Absolute Ensemble, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Symphony. Dinnerstein has played concerts throughout the U.S. for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. She gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system when she played at the Avoyelles Correctional Center, and performed at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in a concert organized by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Dedicated to her community, in 2009 Dinnerstein founded Neighborhood Classics, a concert series open to the public hosted by New York public schools, which raises funds for the schools. Dinnerstein is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music and in London with Maria Curcio. Simone Dinnerstein lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and son. She is managed by Ekonomisk Mgmt and is a Sony Classical artist.
Over the past 15 years choreographer Pam Tanowitz has become known for her unflinchingly post-modern treatment of classical dance vocabulary. Her abstract movement challenges stylistic expectations, conventions of composition as well as the concert-going experience itself. Tanowitz' mission is to revitalize abstraction and formalism by obliterating the self-imposed dialectical boundaries of each, while stretching the material into uncharted territory. In 2009 she received a Bessie Award for her dance "Be in the Gray With Me" at Dance Theater Workshop. She was awarded a Foundation for Contemporary Arts award in 2010, Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011, and the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University in 2013-14.
She has been commissioned by The Joyce Theater, Bard Summerscape Festival, New York Live Arts, The Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series, Danspace Project, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Chicago Dancing Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Duke Performances, Peak Performances, FSU's Opening Nights Series, and the Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston. Her work was selected by The New York Times Best of Dance series in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
In 2016, Tanowitz was a Resident Fellow at NYU's Center for Ballet and the Arts, the Juried Bessie Award Winner for her work "the story progresses as if in a dream of glittering surfaces", and a recipient of the National Dance Project production grant.
In the 2017-2018 season, Tanowitz will premiere new works at Vail International Dance Festival (August, 2017), and for Ballet Austin (February, 2018). Her newest collaborative project with pianist Simone Dinnerstein, New Work for Goldberg Variations, will premiere and tour nationally in fall 2017.
Tanowitz has also created or set work for City Center's Fall for Dance Festival, The Juilliard School, New York Theater Ballet and Saint Louis Ballet; and has been a guest choreographer at Barnard College, Princeton University, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Marymount Manhattan College and Purchase College. She holds dance degrees from The Ohio State University and Sarah Lawrence College, and currently teaches at Rutgers University.
Peak Performances is a program of the Office of Arts and Cultural Programming at Montclair State University and has been honored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts with an Arts Citation of Excellence and Designation of Major Impact. Programs in this season are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.