Saturday, February 2, 7:30 PM
First Baptist Shreveport
Michael Butterman, conductor
MOZART Symphony No. 40
BACH Concerto for Piano in G minor
GLASS Concerto for Piano
Simone Dinnerstein, piano
Experience the emotional intensity of Mozart’s G minor Symphony plus a pair of piano concerti with a special relationship. American composer Philip Glass’ new transcendent and hypnotic concerto, written for Simone Dinnerstein and co-commissioned by the Shreveport Symphony, was inspired by this Bach concerto.
“These two concertos, with their multiple, alternating voices and entwined repetitions, may reside on opposite ends of music history, but they share a common language that needs no translation―especially in such sympathetic performances.” ~NPR Music
Free pre-concert discussion starts at 6:40 PM
About Simone Dinnerstein
American pianist Simone Dinnerstein is known for her “majestic originality of vision” (The Independent) and her “lean, knowing and unpretentious elegance” (The New Yorker).
In 2017 Dinnerstein released the album Mozart in Havana, recorded in Cuba with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra. She went on to bring the orchestra to the United States for their first ever American tour. In the same year Dinnerstein premiered a piano concerto written for her by Philip Glass and co-commissioned by 12 orchestras, including the Shreveport Symphony. She performed the concerto nationally and internationally, and the recording was released in Spring 2018. In 2017 she also collaborated with choreographer Pam Tanowitz on New Work for Goldberg Variations, which was featured on the year-end top 10 lists of critics at The New York Times and the Boston Globe.
Dinnerstein first attracted attention in 2007 with her self-produced recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. It was a remarkable success, reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart, and established Dinnerstein’s distinctive and original approach. The New York Times called her “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.” Her career has since taken her around the world from Brazil to Japan and she has made a further eight albums with repertoire from Beethoven to Ravel.
Dinnerstein is committed to musical outreach. She plays concerts for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. Under their auspices she gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system at the Avoyelles Correctional Center. She also runs her own concert series supporting music education in public schools and brings a digital keyboard into elementary school classrooms across the country through her Bachpacking initiative.
Dinnerstein is on the faculty of the Mannes School of Music and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and Old English Sheepdog, Daisy. www.simonedinnerstein.com
About Philip Glass
Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.
The operas – “Einstein on the Beach,” “Satyagraha,” “Akhnaten,” and “The Voyage,” among many others – play throughout the world’s leading houses, and rarely to an empty seat. Glass has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as “The Hours” and Martin Scorsese’s “Kundun,” while “Koyaanisqatsi,” his initial filmic landscape with Godfrey Reggio and the Philip Glass Ensemble, may be the most radical and influential mating of sound and vision since “Fantasia.” His associations, personal and professional, with leading rock, pop and world music artists date back to the 1960s, including the beginning of his collaborative relationship with artist Robert Wilson. Indeed, Glass is the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music – simultaneously.
He was born in 1937 and grew up in Baltimore. He studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and in Aspen with Darius Milhaud. Finding himself dissatisfied with much of what then passed for modern music, he moved to Europe, where he studied with the legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger (who also taught Aaron Copland , Virgil Thomson and Quincy Jones) and worked closely with the sitar virtuoso and composer Ravi Shankar. He returned to New York in 1967 and formed the Philip Glass Ensemble – seven musicians playing keyboards and a variety of woodwinds, amplified and fed through a mixer.
The new musical style that Glass was evolving was eventually dubbed “minimalism.” Glass himself never liked the term and preferred to speak of himself as a composer of “music with repetitive structures.” Much of his early work was based on the extended reiteration of brief, elegant melodic fragments that wove in and out of an aural tapestry. Or, to put it another way, it immersed a listener in a sort of sonic weather that twists, turns, surrounds, develops.
There has been nothing “minimalist” about his output. In the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than 25 operas, large and small; 12 symphonies; three piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; soundtracks to films ranging from new scores for the stylized classics of Jean Cocteau to Errol Morris’s documentary about former defense secretary Robert McNamara; string quartets; a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. He has collaborated with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Yo-Yo Ma, and Doris Lessing, among many others. He presents lectures, workshops, and solo keyboard performances around the world, and continues to appear regularly with the Philip Glass Ensemble.