Grammy-Nominated Pianist Simone Dinnerstein Releases New Album - Undersong - in January 2022
Music by Couperin, Philip Glass, Satie and Schumann
Release Date: January 21, 2022
Orange Mountain Music
Watch Dinnerstein’s Video for Tic-Toc Choc on Apple Music: https://apple.co/3dSEk56
January 23: Carnegie Hall with Renée Fleming, Uma Thurman, & Emerson String Quartet
January 27: Meany Center for the Performing Arts, Seattle, WA
January 29: Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
On January 21, 2022, pianist Simone Dinnerstein’s latest album Undersong will be released on Orange Mountain Music. Her thoughtful program for this recording includes Couperin’s Les Barricades Mystérieuses and Tic-Toc-Choc; Schumann’s Arabesque in C Major, Op. 18 and Kreisleriana Op. 16; Philip Glass’s Mad Rush; and Satie’s Gnossiennes No. 3. Undersong is the third in a trilogy of albums that Dinnerstein recorded at her home in Brooklyn during the pandemic, with her longtime producer Adam Abeshouse. Three singles – Gnossiennes, Les Barricades Mystérieuses, and Tic-Toc Choc – are now available on Spotify and Apple Music; Dinnerstein’s video for Tic-Toc Choc is also available on Apple Music.
Dinnerstein says of the title, “Undersong is an archaic term for a song with a refrain, and to me it also suggests a hidden text. Glass, Schumann, Couperin and Satie all seem to be attempting to find what they want to say through repetition, as though their constant change and recycling will focus the ear and the mind. This time has been one of reflection and reconsidering for many of us, and this music speaks to the process of revisiting and searching for the meaning beneath the notes, of the undersong.”
Simone Dinnerstein is currently nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award in the category of Best Classical Instrumental Solo for the second in the trilogy of albums she recorded at home during the pandemic, An American Mosaic (Supertrain Records), which features Richard Danielpour’s composition of the same title along with three Bach transcriptions by Danielpour for Dinnerstein. An American Mosaic is a set of fifteen miniatures, each commemorating a segment of the American population that has been affected by the pandemic – doctors, parents, children, front line workers, caretakers, and those who have lost their lives to the virus. The album has surpassed two million streams on Apple Music.
On January 23 in New York, Dinnerstein will be performing Mad Rush by Philip Glass, included on her new album Undersong, as part of a concert at Carnegie Hall with soprano Renée Fleming, Uma Thurman, and the Emerson Quartet. The concert features the New York premiere of André Previn and Tom Stoppard's work Penelope. Concert information: https://bit.ly/Jan23CarnegieHall
On January 27 in Seattle, Dinnerstein will perform Richard Danielpour's An American Mosaic and his Bach transcriptions, alongside Joseph C. Phillips Jr.'s 2016 piece Never Has Been Yet with poetry by Langston Hughes, presented by the Meany Center for the Performing Arts. Concert information: https://bit.ly/Jan27MeanyCenter
On January 29 in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, Dinnerstein will be performing Bach's Goldberg Variations, her recording of which brought her wider public attention in 2007, presented by Chamber Music Monterey Bay. Concert information: https://bit.ly/Jan29MontereyBay
The first album in the trilogy that Dinnerstein recorded at home during the pandemic was her September 2020 release, A Character of Quiet. That album, which includes Philip Glass’s Etudes No. 16, No. 6 and No. 2 paired with Franz Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960, reached the number one spot on the Billboard Classical Chart, and was described by NPR as, “music that speaks to a sense of the world slowing down,” and by The New Yorker as, “a reminder that quiet can contain multitudes.”
Simone Dinnerstein is an American pianist. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, son and dog, less than a mile from the hospital in which she was born.
Simone has a distinctive musical voice. The Washington Post has called her “an artist of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity.” She first came to wider public attention in 2007 through her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, reflecting an aesthetic that was both deeply rooted in the score and profoundly idiosyncratic. She is, wrote The New York Times, “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.”
Since that recording, she has had a busy performing career. She has played with orchestras ranging from the New York Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra to the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai. She has performed in venues from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Seoul Arts Center and the Sydney Opera House. She has made ten albums, all of which topped the Billboard classical charts, with repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Ravel.
This season, Simone takes on a number of new artistic challenges. She gives the world premiere of The Eye Is the First Circle at Montclair State University, the first multi-media production she has conceived, created, and directed, which uses as source materials her father Simon Dinnerstein’s painting The Fulbright Triptych and Charles Ives’s Piano Sonata No. 2 (Concord). In addition, she premieres Richard Danielpour’s An American Mosaic, a tribute to those affected by the pandemic, in a performance on multiple pianos placed throughout Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. She also joins Renée Fleming, the Emerson String Quartet, and Uma Thurman for performances of André Previn and Tom Stoppard’s Penelope at both Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
In recent years, Simone has created projects that express her broad musical interests. Following her recording of Mozart in Havana, she brought the Havana Lyceum Orchestra from Cuba to the United States for the very first time, raising the funding, booking the concerts, and organizing their housing and transport. Together, Simone and the orchestra played eleven concerts from Miami to Boston. Philip Glass composed his Piano Concerto No. 3 for Simone, co-commissioned by twelve American and Canadian orchestras. She collaborated with choreographer Pam Tanowitz to create New Work for Goldberg Variations, which was met with widespread critical acclaim. Working with Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet, she premiered André Previn and Tom Stoppard’s Penelope at the Tanglewood, Ravinia and Aspen music festivals. Most recently, she created her own string ensemble, Baroklyn, which she directs from the keyboard. Their performance of Bach’s cantata Ich Habe Genug in March 2020 was the last concert she gave before New York City shut down.
Simone is committed to giving concerts in non-traditional venues and to audiences who don’t often hear classical music. For the last three decades, she has played concerts throughout the United States for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to the widespread dissemination of classical music. It was for the Piatigorsky Foundation that she gave the first piano recital in the Louisiana state prison system at the Avoyelles Correctional Center. She has also performed at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in a concert organized by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Simone founded Neighborhood Classics in 2009, a concert series open to the public and hosted by New York City Public Schools to raise funds for their music education programs. She also created a program called Bachpacking during which she takes a digital keyboard to elementary school classrooms, helping young children get close to the music she loves. She is a committed supporter and proud alumna of Philadelphia’s Astral Artists, which supports young performers.
Simone counts herself fortunate to have studied with three unique artists: Solomon Mikowsky, Maria Curcio and Peter Serkin, very different musicians who shared the belief that playing the piano is a means to something greater. The Washington Post comments that “ultimately, it is Dinnerstein’s unreserved identification with every note she plays that makes her performance so spellbinding.” In a world where music is everywhere, she hopes that it can still be transformative.