American pianist Simone Dinnerstein has been called “a throwback to such high priestesses of music as Wanda Landowska and Myra Hess,” by Slate magazine, and praised by TIME for her “arresting freshness and subtlety.” 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 US 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. Her follow-up album, The Berlin Concert, also gained the No. 1 spot on the Chart.
Ms. Dinnerstein has since signed an exclusive agreement with Sony Classical, and her first album for that label – Bach: A Strange Beauty – was released in January 2011, immediately earning the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Classical Chart, and making the Billboard Top 200 which compiles the entire music industry’s top selling albums in all genres. The San Francisco Chronicle called Bach: A Strange Beauty “unadorned but profound bliss,” and The Washington Post raved, “Dinnerstein’s readings may be said to plumb these works’ genuine depths . . . poised, elegant, wonderfully played.” In conjunction with the album’s release, Ms. Dinnerstein was featured on national television by CBS Sunday Morning. She was the bestselling instrumentalist of 2011 on the US Billboard Classical Chart, and was also included in NPR’s 2011 100 Favorite Songs from all genres.
Ms. Dinnerstein’s second album for Sony Classical was released on January 31, 2012. Entitled, “Something Almost Being Said,” it includes J. S. Bach’s Partitas Nos. 1 and 2, and Schubert’s Four Impromptus, Op. 90. The album was recorded at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York by Grammy-winning producer Adam Abeshouse, and its title is taken from English poet Philip Larkin’s “The Trees.”
Ms. 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, performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Recent and upcoming performances include her recital debuts at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and London’s Wigmore Hall, the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival, the Aspen and Ravinia festivals, in Cologne, Paris, London, Copenhagen, Vilnius, Bremen, Rome, and Lisbon, and at the Stuttgart Bach Festival; as well as debut performances with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Kristjan Järvi’s Absolute Ensemble, and the Tokyo Symphony. In New York she has performed on Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series, and in three sold-out recitals at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is also a frequent performer at New York’s (Le) Poisson Rouge, a club presenting all genres of music.
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, 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.
In addition, Ms. Dinnerstein has founded Neighborhood Classics, a concert series open to the public and hosted by New York City public schools. The concerts, which feature musicians Ms. Dinnerstein has admired and collaborated with during her career, raise funds for the schools’ Parent Teacher Associations. 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 attends and where her husband teaches fifth grade, and expanded in 2010 to PS 142 on New York’s Lower East Side.
Over the past few years, Ms. Dinnerstein has been featured in Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Classic FM Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, “O” The Oprah Magazine, TIME, Slate, Stern, Cicero, The Sunday (London) Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others, and has appeared on radio programs including BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, NPR’s Morning Edition, Public Radio International’s Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, American Public Media’s Performance Today, Minnesota Public Radio, XM Radio’s Classical Confidential, as part of the news on SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s The Howard Stern Show, and on national television in Germany.
Ms. 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 twice received 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.