Dinnerstein is “an utterly distinctive voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.”
Pam Tanowitz’s choreography is “revelatory.”
— The New York Times
In 2007, pianist Simone Dinnerstein rocked the music world with her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. She raised the money for the project herself and rented the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall for a concert. Her gamble paid off, with glowing reviews of her “expressive force” and “timeless, meditative, utterly audacious solo debut.” Now ready for a new challenge, Dinnerstein wanted to match the music with movement, so it was time to roll the dice again. She proposed her project to acclaimed choreographer Pam Tanowitz. Both women were intimidated by the challenge of reinterpreting Bach’s towering, beloved classic, but they decided their hesitation was the exact reason to proceed. “Working together we’ll invent our own world,” Tanowitz decided, “and create something inherently dangerous for both of us as artists.” The result is New Work for Goldberg Variations, with Dinnerstein center stage at the piano in expressive dialogue with the dancers moving all around her to Bach’s glorious music.
Research for New Work for Goldberg Variations
Thursday, October 19 @ 6:00 pm
Alexander Kasser Theater, Upper Lobby
Marissa Silverman (John J. Cali School of Music) leads a pre-show talk on Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Click Here to read more about the event.
This event is free and open to the public.
Pam Tanowitz has been making dances since 1992. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 and as the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University in 2013-14. In 2009 she received a Bessie Award for her dance, Be in the Gray With Me, at Dance Theater Workshop. Tanowitz has been invited to create new work for The Vail International Dance Festival and City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival; has set work on The Juilliard School, Ballet Austin, New York Theater Ballet and Saint Louis Ballet; and has been a guest choreographer in the dance departments at Barnard College, Princeton University, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Marymount Manhattan College And Purchase College. Additional awards include three Joyce Theater Residency Grants, Jerome Robbins Foundation, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists Award. She holds dance degrees from The Ohio State University and Sarah Lawrence College.
Tanowitz is Resident Fellow at New York University’s Center for Ballet and the Arts and currently teaches at Rutgers University.
Pam Tanowitz is the 2016 Juried Bessie Award Winner for her work “the story progresses as if in a dream of glittering surfaces”.
American pianist Simone Dinnerstein is a searching and inventive artist who is motivated by a desire to find the musical core of every work she approaches. The New York-based pianist gained an international following with the remarkable success of her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which she independently raised the funds to record. Released in 2007 on Telarc, it ranked No. 1 on the U.S. 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.
Dinnerstein’s performance schedule has taken her around the world since her acclaimed New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2005, to venues including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Sydney Opera House, Seoul Arts Center, and London’s Wigmore Hall; festivals that include the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival, the Aspen, Verbier, and Ravinia festivals; and performances with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra a Sinfonica Brasileira, and the Tokyo Symphony.
Dinnerstein has played concerts throughout the U.S. for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. She gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system at the Avoyelles Correctional Center, and performed at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in a concert organized by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Dedicated to her community, in 2009 Dinnerstein founded Neighborhood Classics, a concert series open to the public hosted by New York public schools which raises funds for their music education programs.
Dinnerstein is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music and in London with Maria Curcio. She is on the faculty of the Mannes School of Music and is a Sony Classical artist. She is managed by Andrea Troolin at Ekonomisk Mgmt with booking representation through Helen Henson at Blu Ocean Arts.
In The News
GIA KOURLAS, THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Who’s Afraid of ‘Goldberg Variations’? Not This Choreographer.”
“Pam Tanowitz usually begins a dance when she has an idea for one. But her new premiere started differently: Simone Dinnerstein, an acclaimed pianist whose first love was dance, contacted her.”
THE NEW YORKER” “Simone Dinnerstein and Pam Tanowitz Dance”
“[Simone] Dinnerstein’s elastic interpretation will give breath and space to [Pam] Tanowitz’s witty inventions.”
THE NEW YORKER: “Simone Dinnerstein’s Goldberg Variations is ‘the runaway hit of the year.’”
Simone Dinnerstein plays with “a lean, knowing, and unpretentious elegance.”
ALASTAIR MACAULAY, THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Simplicity of Movement Translated Into Something Much Larger”
“Some of the dance steps, phrases and constructions by the choreographer Pam Tanowitz are among the finest being made anywhere today.”
ANNE MIDGETTE, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Simone Dinnerstein had “an unorthodox journey to concert success.”
Simone Dinnerstein “has made her career by breaking every rule in the book.”
ALASTAIR MACAULAY, THE NEW YORK TIMES: “A Low-Key and Witty Premiere by Pam Tanowitz”
Tanowitz is “an unusually gifted and original dance-maker.”
Programs in Peak Performances’ 2017–18 season are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The presentation of New Work for Goldberg Variations at Peak Performances is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Program.