Main Street News

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein to Perform Alongside Balourdet String Quartet at Music Mountain

By Published On: August 8th, 2023

On Sunday, August 20th at 3pm, Music Mountain in Falls Village, CT, will present a special concert event that you won’t want to miss. Pianist Simone Dinnerstein and the Balourdet String Quartet will perform J.S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D Minor BWV 1052, in addition to works by Felix Mendelssohn, Karim Al-Zand, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Jean-Philippe Rameau, at Music Mountain’s Gordon Hall.

Jacques Gordon first launched Music Mountain, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, in 1930. Serving as the Gordon String Quartet’s founding first violinist and acting as Chicago Symphony concertmaster from 1921 to 1930, Jacques Gordon curated an important legacy that only developed with the creation of Music Mountain.

As president of the organization from 1974 until his passing in 2017, Jacques Gordon’s son Nicholas Gordon carried on this legacy in a variety of capacities; these included the further development of Music Mountain’s teaching programs and the expansion of the organization’s audience through global broadcasts, achieving “over one million listeners nationwide and in 45 countries.” He also helped to establish jazz performances at Music Mountain through his guidance as artistic/executive director and principal fundraiser.

Today, artistic director Oskar Espina-Ruiz and the current board of directors continue to ensure that Music Mountain is “faithful to its mission and is supported by a dedicated community sharing a passion and love of music;” these enduring traits were attributed to Music Mountain by Nicholas Gordon himself.

Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco

It is fitting, then, that such an organization should present Simone Dinnerstein, a thoroughly accomplished and vastly experienced American pianist who first rose to fame with her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in 2007. She has released thirteen Billboard chart-topping albums. Her album An American Mosaic—a musical work written by Richard Danielpour dedicated to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic—was nominated for a Grammy.

Dinnerstein has performed with a number of renowned orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra. Likewise, she has performed in many notable venues around the globe: Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Seoul Arts Center, and the Sydney Opera House.

Among her numerous recent accomplishments is a multi-media production she conceived, created, and directed, The Eye Is the First Circle. This work saw its world premiere at Montclair State University and featured “her father Simon Dinnerstein’s painting The Fulbright Triptych and Charles Ives’s Piano Sonata No. 2” as source materials. Other endeavors include her premieres and performances of André Previn and Tom Stoppard’s Penelope, in collaboration with Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet. Dinnerstein was also a part of a world premiere of Philip Glass’ Piano Concerto No. 3 in 2017, which was composed for her and co-commissioned by twelve orchestras. Also in 2017, she released her album Mozart in Havana, later performing eleven concerts in the United States with Cuba’s Havana Lyceum Orchestra. Furthermore, Dinnerstein directs her own ensemble, Baroklyn.

When it comes to performances, Dinnerstein sincerely appreciates the sense of unity they afford. She highlights, too, that Music Mountain is a particularly ideal atmosphere for this sort of engagement. “​​The best part of performing is sharing a space with a group of people where we are all focused on a deep listening experience together. Some concert spaces foster that type of listening more than others, and Music Mountain is one of them. The wood of the hall is warm, and it is in such a beautiful part of the world. All of this is conducive to inspiration and encourages being in the moment,” Dinnerstein explains.

Dinnerstein’s 2011 recording of Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D Minor BWV 1052 in her Sony Classical release, Bach: A Strange Beauty, was met with immense praise. Thus, she is known for her masterful and graceful approach to Bach.

That being said, Dinnerstein is excited for the opportunity to perform Bach, among other artists, with the Balourdet String Quartet at this special event. She notes, “I am looking forward to meeting the members of the Balourdet Quartet for the first time. I’ve performed the Bach D minor keyboard concerto many times, but it always changes in unexpected and beautiful ways when I collaborate with a different group of musicians. I can’t wait to hear what they will bring to this spectacular work.”

To get your tickets now and find out more about the performance, click here!

Sunday, August 20, 2023, at 3pm

Gordon Hall, Music Mountain

225 Music Mountain Road, Falls Village, CT

Photo courtesy of Music Mountain