Performs the New York Premiere of
Philip Lasser’s The Circle and The Child with Face the Music
Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 7:30pm
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 W. 67th St. | NYC
Tickets: 212.501.3330 or www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org
Simone’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert: http://bit.ly/NPRTinyDeskSimone
Simone’s Official Website: www.simonedinnerstein.com
New York, NY – On Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 7:30pm acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein will give the New York premiere of Philip Lasser’s piano concerto The Circle and the Child from her latest Sony album Broadway-Lafayette with the talented teen new music ensemble Face the Music under the direction of founder and director Jenny Undercofler at Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Music Center (129 W. 67th St.). The program also includes Face the Music members Paris Lavidis’s Violin Concerto in D, Michelle David’s First Love Experience, and Benjamin Wenzelburg’s Air for harp and strings.
Premiering Lasser’s new work with the teenage musicians of Face the Music is in keeping with Dinnerstein’s strong commitment to working with young people. Though this is the first time that she has performed with Face the Music, the group has been a popular guest on her Neighborhood Classics concert series at PS 321 and PS 142, which raises funds for the schools. Artists who have donated performances to the series in addition to Face the Music include Richard Stoltzman, Maya Beiser, Pablo Ziegler, Paul O’Dette, and many more. Dinnerstein has also staged three all-school “happenings” at PS 321 – a Bach Invasion, a Renaissance Revolution, and a Violin Invasion – which immersed the school in music, with dozens of musicians performing in all of the school’s classrooms throughout the day. In early 2014, she launched her Bachpacking initiative, bringing a digital piano provided by Yamaha from classroom to classroom in public schools, presenting interactive performances and encouraging musical discussion among the students.
Simone Dinnerstein’s latest album Broadway-Lafayette celebrates the time-honored transatlantic link between France and America. In addition to The Circle and the Child, it includes Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The album was recorded with conductor Kristjan Järvi and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra by Grammy-winning producer Adam Abeshouse. (Review copies available upon request.)
The Circle and the Child, which Dinnerstein premiered with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2013, continues Dinnerstein’s and Lasser’s shared musical aesthetic, and reflects their mutual inspiration from the music of J.S. Bach. “Simone is a true kindred spirit,” says Lasser. “This connection through Bach’s music evolved into the Concerto, which reflects Simone’s unique sound and artistry.”
Dinnerstein says, “Philip’s love of Bach, which permeates this concerto, combined with his own unique sense of form and feeling for color and harmony, makes for an exquisite work. I feel deeply moved and honored to be connected to a piece of music that speaks to me so personally.” The Circle and the Child is a journey through a kaleidoscope of musical landscapes. Cast in three movements, the concerto’s core thread is a Bach Chorale, “Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohen Lüfte.” The work explores ideas of travel and discovery, and of memory and return.
About Simone Dinnerstein: 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. NPR reports, “She compels the listener to follow her in a journey of discovery filled with unscheduled detours . . . She’s actively listening to every note she plays, and the result is a wonderfully expressive interpretation.” 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.
The four solo albums Dinnerstein has released since then – The Berlin Concert (Telarc), Bach: A Strange Beauty (Sony), Something Almost Being Said (Sony), and Bach: Inventions & Sinfonias (Sony) – have also topped the classical charts. 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 bestselling 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 IMG Artists and is a Sony Classical artist.
About Philip Lasser: Philip Lasser’s most recent release Colors of Feeling was a collection of lyrical, impressionistic vocal works featuring the talents of Susanna Phillips, Elizabeth Futral, and narration from Michael York. Gramophone reported, “Having been trained in the counterpoint-rich tradition of Nadia Boulanger, Lasser plumbs Germanic depths while managing to distil them on a Gallic surface without seeming superficial. Sopranos Susanna Phillips and Elizabeth Futral illuminate the music’s broad emotional terrain strictly by reaching within.” Winner of the 2012 Classical Recording Foundation Composer of the Year award, Lasser’s musical and personal background are colored by both the French and American cultures. His musical career began as a teenager at Nadia Boulanger’s Ecole d’Arts Americaines in Fontainbleau, where he studied with pianist Gaby Casadesus. After graduating from Harvard College, Lasser studied in Paris with Boulanger’s colleague Narcis Bonet. His music is heard frequently in a myriad of settings, from Simone Dinnerstein’s The Berlin Concert to concerts by the Seattle Symphony and New York Chamber Symphony, as well as on albums from New World Records and Crystal Records. He has also published a book, The Spiraling Tapestry: An Inquiry into the Contrapuntal Fabric of Music, which offers a pioneering view on Bach’s compositional world.
About Face the Music: The only youth ensemble in the U.S. dedicated to the creation and performance of music by living composers, the 200+ member Face the Music has taken its place as a full-fledged player in New York City’s vibrant contemporary classical scene, rapidly becoming what Allan Kozinn of the New York Times has called “a force in the New York new-music world.” Face the Music has been selected as one of one of only two New York-based Legacy Partners (the other being Carnegie Hall) – and the only youth group among the Legacy Partners – for Kronos Quartet’s exciting new commissioning initiative “Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire.” This season, NYC’s favorite teen new music ensemble performs at more than 35 performances at venues across the city and beyond, including Merkin Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, BAMcafé, Queens Museum, Roulette and the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. They will premiere works by composers Carlos Carrillo, Merlijn Twaalfhoven and Asha Srinivasan as well as 17 new pieces by Face the Music members. Their repertoire for the new season also includes works by Michael Gordon, Philip Glass, Tristan Perich, Missy Mazzoli, Steven Mackey and Nicole Lizée.
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