May 30, 2017

Billboard chart-topper to perform with RPO

Internationally acclaimed American pianist Simone Dinnerstein brings her talents to Hochstein Performance Hall this Sunday, June 4 to close out the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Sunday Matinee series.
Simone Dinnerstein

Dinnerstein recently reached No. 2 on the Billboard Classical Chart for her new album Mozart in Havana, but she first rose to prominence with her self-funded recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, another Billboard chart topper released in 2007. Described as an “utterly distinctive voice in the forest of Bach interpretation” by the New York Times, Dinnerstein will play two of the great composer’s lesser known piano concerti with the RPO: Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D Minor and Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F Minor. Although she appreciates all of the Bach keyboard concerti, she considers these two to be his most profound.

She singled out the slow, second movement of the F Minor concerto as one of the most beautiful things she’s ever heard. “Playing it is the closest I get to singing,” she said. She describes a singing-like quality, too, in the D Minor concerto, which she explains is the result of its origins as part of a cantata Bach wrote for an organ accompanied by a choir. While it’s “much weightier,” than the concerto in F Minor, she notes the interactive and intimate feel both works convey. That intimacy will be ideal for performance at Hochstein, a much smaller venue than the cavernous Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, where the RPO plays the majority of its concerts.

Apart from her first performance with the RPO, Dinnerstein has a lot going on in 2017. Mozart in Havana was recorded in Cuba with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra and features Mozart’s Piano Concerto Nos. 21 and 23. This summer, the HLO will travel to the United States to tour with Dinnerstein up and down the East Coast. It will be the first time an orchestra from Cuba has toured the U.S. since the Cuban Revolution. Also this year, Dinnerstein will debut a new piano concerto written for her by Philip Glass and co-commissioned by twelve orchestras around the country. She will also collaborate with choreographer Pam Tanowitz on New Work for Goldberg Variations, a piece for piano and six dancers. The collaboration translates the rhythms and structures of Bach’s Goldberg Variations into movement, and will debut at Duke University in the fall of 2017.

If you go
Bach & Stravinsky
Sunday, June 4 at 2 PM
Hochstein Performance Hall
Tickets $27 available at or by calling 454-2100

Written by Mary Rice, RPO marketing assistant

Hear Simone Dinnertein perform the two Bach concerti and other works by Bach in this playlist from her 2011 album Bach: A Strange Beauty recorded with the Staatskapelle Berlin.

No comments: