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Acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein
January 16 through 17 at Duke

Simone Dinnerstein
January 16 through 17 at Reynolds Industries Theatre


Click here to listen to Deana's “Preview” Interview with Simone Dinnerstein!

(January 13, 2009) — In January, acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein will perform two concerts at Duke University’s Reynolds Industries Theatre (West Campus, 120 Science Dr, Durham, NC), presented by Duke Performances. At 8 pm on Friday, January 16 she will give a solo recital featuring music by Schubert, Bach, Philip Lasser, and Beethoven. At 8 pm on Saturday, January 17, she will perform with frequent collaborator cellist Zuill Bailey, in an all-Beethoven program, copresented by the Chamber Arts Society of Durham. During her residency in North Carolina, she will also give a masterclass at 6pm on Thursday, January 15 in Baldwin Auditorium on Duke’s East Campus (119 Campus Drive, Durham, NC). The masterclass is free and open to the public.

Ms. Dinnerstein’s January 16 solo recital features music from her recently released Telarc recording, The Berlin Concert – Bach’s French Suite No. 5 in G major, American composer Philip Lasser’s Twelve Variations on a Chorale by J.S. Bach, and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111. Also included on the program is Schubert’s Four Impromptus, Op. 90. The Berlin Concert, Ms. Dinnerstein’s second solo album, earned the No. 1 spot on the US Billboard Traditional Classical Chart in its first week of sales. Ms. Dinnerstein’s debut solo album, a recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, also topped the chart in its first week of sales in September 2007. The Berlin Concert is a live recording of Ms. Dinnerstein’s recital debut at the Kammermusiksaal of the Philharmonie in Berlin.

Ms. Dinnerstein chose this program because of how the pieces speak to each other, and because of their relationship to the music of Bach. She explains, “My hope with this concert was to program a group of pieces that would contrast with and relate to each other, despite being separated by hundreds of years. So much music written since Bach has been influenced by him, and the Beethoven and the Lasser recorded here are no exceptions. Philip Lasser’s variations on the very dark Bach chorale, Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott (Take from us, Lord, Thou faithful God), draw on Bach’s intense and meditative side. Lasser’s writing is intricately crafted and encompasses a range of styles, from a contrapuntal energy reminiscent of Bach, to French Impressionism and even jazz. Beethoven’s Opus 111 sounds surprisingly contemporary in this company. The first movement looks ahead to Liszt and the second movement, with its set of variations on a chorale-like arietta, looks back to Bach and ahead to jazz. All three works are densely layered, but also have a sense of freedom and directness of expression. Though they span almost 300 years, in many ways, to me, they each feel grounded in the present.”

Of The Berlin Concert CD, International Piano raves, “Dinnerstein’s subtly-inflected tonal purity and exquisite dynamic suppleness impart a sense of concentrated musical inevitability to the Bach French Suite rivalled only in my experience by Dinu Lipatti’s incandescent reading of the B flat Partita. . . The Gigue finale is not only touch-perfect (how does she create such an exquisite, velvety staccato?) but also so mellifluously voiced and immaculately balanced that it is difficult to imagine the music being played with a more complete grasp of every parameter. . . Most remarkably of all one has the extraordinary sense of Beethoven’s epic structures (particularly the theme and variations finale) not so much unravelling in time but emerging as one coexistent whole.”

Ms. Dinnerstein has performed with cellist Zuill Bailey regularly over the past 12 years. Both are known as highly accomplished musicians with a flair for arresting interpretations. They have recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas; the first of two discs has been released on the Delos label, with the second soon due for release. Their January 17 concert features Beethoven’s Variations in F Major from The Magic Flute; Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 3 in A Major, Op. 69; Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1; and Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 5 in D Major, Op. 102, No. 2.

Gramophone magazine praised their first Beethoven disc, stating, “Cellist Zuill Bailey and pianist Simone Dinnerstein exhibit remarkable chemistry, with a flexible, conversational approach to the score. Born out of this relaxed yet musical treatment, sudden bursts of creativity stand in relief.” And Strings magazine called the CD, “one of the year’s most impressive chamber music releases.” For this CD set, Ms. Dinnerstein and Mr. Bailey received the 2006 and 2007 Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Awards, presented by the Classical Recording Foundation. They performed the complete Beethoven Sonatas at a sold-out performance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in October 2007, and repeated the program at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C in April 2008.

More about Simone Dinnerstein: Ms. Dinnerstein has gained an international following because of the remarkable success of her recording of the Goldberg Variations, released on Telarc in August 2007. In today’s classical music and recording industry climate, it is rare that a debut album from a relatively little known artist generates such an enthusiastic response from the public and the media. The New York Times chose the disc as one of the Best CDs of 2007, describing it with, “An utterly distinctive voice in the forest of Bach interpretation, Ms. Dinnerstein brings her own pianistic expressivity to the “Goldberg” Variations, probing each variation as if it were something completely new.” Slate.com raved, “Dinnerstein is a throwback to such high priestesses of music as Wanda Landowska and Myra Hess . . . [She] is touring. Go hear her, and get religion. And if you can’t, there’s always the record.” Piano Magazine called the disc, “precisely the kind of playing that the early 21st century most needs, infused as it is with a deep and pervasive sense of beauty and tenderness of heart which is often profoundly affecting.”

Recent and upcoming performances include Ms. Dinnerstein’s recital debuts in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, at the Aspen and Ravinia festivals, in San Francisco, Paris, London, Copenhagen, Vilnius, Bremen, and at the Stuttgart Bach Festival; as well as debut performances with the Dresden Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Kristjan Järvi’s Absolute Ensemble. In New York, she performed on the People’s Symphony series at Town Hall and on Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series during the 2007- 2008 season, and will perform a recital at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in February 2009. Since 1996 Ms. Dinnerstein has played concerts throughout the United States for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. Amongst the places she has played are nursing homes, schools and community centers. Most notably, Ms. Dinnerstein gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system when she played at the Avoyelles Correctional Center.

At Juilliard, Ms. Dinnerstein was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music and in London with Maria Curcio, the distinguished pupil of Artur Schnabel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and son. Simone Dinnerstein records exclusively for Telarc International. She is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at IMG Artists. For more information, please visit www.simonedinnerstein.com.

Philip Lasser (b. 1963, New York City) began his formal composition studies at Nadia Boulanger's Ecole d'Arts Americaines in Fontainebleau, France. After graduating from Harvard College, Philip Lasser continued studies in Paris with Boulanger's closest disciple, Narcis Bonet. He later received a master’s degree in composition from Columbia University and his doctorate from The Juilliard School, where his principal teacher was David Diamond. Lasser's recent book, The Spiraling Tapestry: An inquiry into the Contrapuntal Fabric of Music offers a pioneering view on Bach's compositional world. Philip Lasser directs the European American Musical Alliance's Summer Music Programs in Paris, offering musical studies in the tradition of Nadia Boulanger. Since 1994, he has been a distinguished member of the faculty at The Juilliard School.

More about cellist Zuill Bailey: Mr. Bailey is considered one of the pre-eminent cellists of his generation. His rare combination of compelling artistry, technical finesse, and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought-after cellists today. A consummate concerto soloist, Bailey performs with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Louisville, Milwaukee, Minnesota, San Francisco, Toronto, and Utah, among other leading orchestras around the world. He has collaborated with such conductors as Itzhak Perlman, Alan Gilbert, Andrew Litton, Grant Llewellyn, James DePriest, and Stanislav Skrowacezewski, and has been featured with musical luminaries Leon Fleisher, Jaime Laredo, the Juilliard String Quartet, Lynn Harrell and Janos Starker. He has appeared at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and Carnegie Hall, where he made his debut performing the U.S. premiere of Miklos Theodorakis' Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra.

His international appearances include celebrated performances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in its 50th anniversary tour of Russia, as well as concerts in the Dominican Republic, France, Israel, Hong Kong, Jordan, Mexico, Peru, and the United Kingdom. Festival appearances include Ravinia, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Santa Fe Chamber Music, Chautauqua, and Bard Festivals, Bravo! Vail Valley, Maverick Concert Series,and the Music Academy of the West. Zuill Bailey is a member of the acclaimed Perlman-Schmidt-Bailey Trio, featuring pianist Navah Perlman and violinist Giora Schmidt. Bailey has signed an exclusive recording contract with Telarc International. His Russian Masterpieces CD with the works of Tchaikovsky and Shostokovich and performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra will be available on January 27, 2009. Other recordings include a debut recital disc for Delos, Cello Quintets of Boccherini and Schubert with Janos Starker, Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concertos No. 1 and 2 "Live," and the Korngold Cello Concerto with Kaspar Richter and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz for ASV.

Network television appearances include a recurring role on the HBO series Oz, in addition to features on NBC, A&E, NHK TV in Japan, a live broadcast of the Beethoven Triple Concerto from Mexico City, and the televised production of the Cuban premiere of Victor Herbert's Cello Concerto No. 2 with the National Orchestra of Cuba. He is heard on NPR's "Performance Today," "Saint Paul Sunday," BBC's "In Tune," XM Radio's "Live from Studio II," Sirius Satellite Radio, the KDFC Concert Series, Minnesota Public Radio and RTHK Radio Hong Kong.

Zuill Bailey performs on a 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. In addition to his extensive touring engagements, Bailey is the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro Musica and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso. Zuill Bailey is represented world- wide by Colbert Artists Management. For more information, please visit www.zuillbailey.com.

Simone Dinnerstein Upcoming Performances (visit www.simonedinnerstein.com for details):

  • January 25: Anchorage, AK
  • January 27: Bozeman, MT
  • February 1: Anderson, IN
  • February 7: Washington, DC
  • February 12: New York, NY
  • February 14: Kansas City, MO
  • February 19: New York, NY
  • February 22 and 23: Florida State University
  • February 27: Fairfield, CT

Press Contacts (including recording review copies, photographs, or interview requests): For Simone Dinnerstein: Casey Molino Dunn, Christina Jensen PR, 646.536.7864, casey@christinajensenpr.com For Zuill Bailey: Felipa Solis, Solis Media Group, 915.490.6020, solismediagroup@gmail.com

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