Pianist Simone Dinnerstein
Presented by The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 7pm
Simone Dinnerstein for the Holidays
Music by Poulenc, Debussy, Crumb, and Schubert
“an artist of true expressive force” – The Washington Post
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
1000 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY
Tickets: Start at $65 at www.metmuseum.org/tickets or 212.570.3949.
Bring the Kids for $1. One full-price adult ticket allows you to purchase up to three kids’ (ages 7-16) tickets for $1 each.
Simone’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert: http://bit.ly/NPRTinyDeskSimone
Simone’s Official Website: www.simonedinnerstein.com
New York, NY – On Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 7pm, acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein will perform a special holiday concert presented by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in The Grace Rainy Rogers Auditorium (1000 Fifth Avenue). The Met Museum Presents concert, Simone Dinnerstein for the Holidays, features Poulenc’s Suite française, Debussy’s Suite bergamasque, George Crumb’s A Little Suite for Christmas, and Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960.
Poulenc’s Suite française d’après was composed in 1935 as incidental music for Edouard Bourdet’s play La Reine Margot, and was based on the music of French Renaissance composer Claude Gervaise. Debussy’s well-known Suite bergamasque includes the composer’s famous “Clair de lune” as the third movement, from the Paul Verlaine poem of the same title. George Crumb’s The Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979 was inspired by Giotto’s frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy. Each of its seven movements corresponds a panel of the fresco, which traces the life of Jesus. It was composed in 1980 for the pianist Lambert Orkis.
Schubert’s striking and lyrical Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960 was the composer’s last major composition for piano, written during the final months of his life in 1828. Of her personal experience with the piece, Dinnerstein says, “This sonata has been one of my favorite pieces for years. I love it so much that I wanted to wait to learn it. In the last month of my pregnancy with my son, I became obsessed with Schnabel’s recording of it and listened to it over and over again. A couple of days after he was born he was crying and I didn’t know what to do. I put on Schnabel’s recording and he stopped crying and turned his head towards the speakers, clearly recognizing the music. Learning the sonata for myself over these past several months has taken me back to that very special time, 13 years ago. It is a thrilling process to find this music in my fingers and I am excited to start my journey performing it.”
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 Independent praises the “majestic originality of her vision” and 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.
Sony Classical will release Simone Dinnerstein’s next album, Broadway-Lafayette, on February 10, 2015. The album celebrates the time-honored transatlantic link between France and America through the music of George Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue), Maurice Ravel (Piano Concerto in G Major), and Philip Lasser (The Circle and the Child: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, written for Dinnerstein). The last four solo albums Dinnerstein has released – 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. Of her latest recording of Bach’s Inventions and Sinfonias, The New York Times raved, “…in these ‘Inventions & Sinfonias,’ too often relegated to the teaching studio, it is the specific motion she gives each piece — as if every contrapuntal line had a physiognomy of its own — that makes this recording so arresting.”
Upcoming and recent highlights include Dinnerstein’s Italy debut with RAI Turino under Jeffrey Tate; a recital in Seattle for the UW World Series; her return to Istanbul; the New York premiere of Philip Lasser’s The Circle and The Child with Face the Music; a tour of Germany performing Bach concertos with Bach Collegium Musicum; performances with the Colorado and Fort Worth Symphonies; recitals at The Barns at Wolf Trap and New York’s Metropolitan Museum; and a performance of The Circle and The Child with MDR Leipzig at Germany’s Gewandhaus.
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 is interested in exploring ways to subtly change the traditional concert experience, and has created a new program with thereminist Pamelia Kurstin and actor Alvin Epstein that combines classical music and avant-garde cabaret, and weaves together poetry, music, improvisation, and narration. The program debuted at New York’s popular West Village club, Le Poisson Rouge, in 2012. Committed to bringing music by living composers to today’s audiences, Dinnerstein frequently performs pieces written for her by Philip Lasser and Daniel Felsenfeld. In addition to performing the new works written for her by Nico Muhly and Philip Lasser this season, she will be premiering a piano quintet by Grammy-nominated composer Jefferson Friedman with the Chiara String Quartet at the Library of Congress in December 2014.
Dinnerstein has played concerts throughout the United States for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. Notably, she gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system when she played at the Avoyelles Correctional Center. She also performed at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, in a concert organized by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to coincide with her BSO debut.
Dedicated to her community, in 2009 Dinnerstein founded Neighborhood Classics, a concert series open to the public hosted by New York City public schools. The series features musicians Dinnerstein has met throughout her career, and raises funds for the schools. The musicians performing donate their time and talent to the program. Neighborhood Classics began at PS 321, the Brooklyn public elementary school that her son attended and where her husband teaches fourth grade. Artists who have performed on the series include Richard Stoltzman, Maya Beiser, Pablo Ziegler, Paul O’Dette and many more. In addition, Dinnerstein has staged two all-school “happenings” at PS 321 – a Bach Invasion and a Renaissance Revolution – 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.
Dinnerstein is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she was a student of Peter Serkin. She was a winner of the Astral Artist National Auditions, and has received the National Museum of Women in the Arts Award and the Classical Recording Foundation Award. She also studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music and in London with Maria Curcio. Simone Dinnerstein (pronounced See-MOHN-uh DIN-ner-steen) lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and son. She is managed by Tanja Dorn at IMG Artists and is a Sony Classical artist. For more information, visit www.simonedinnerstein.com.
About Met Museum Presents: A wide-ranging series of performances and talks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores contemporary issues and innovations through the lens of the Museum’s exhibitions and unparalleled gallery spaces. Met Museum Presents creates a platform for curators, thought-leaders, and artists to come together and explore the Met as a generative force.
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