Simone Dinnerstein

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Pianist Simone Dinnerstein rose quickly as a classical performer in the early 21st century, with a flourishing international career as a soloist and a number of popular and award-winning recordings to her credit. Although her repertoire is broad, ranging from the Baroque to contemporary premieres, she has gained a reputation as a musician with an affinity for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Dinnerstein was an inspiration for composer Richard Danielpour during the coronavirus shutdowns of 2020, and she issued an album of his works written that year in 2021.
Dinnerstein was born on September 18, 1972, in New York City. She studied at the Manhattan School of Music, graduated from the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Peter Serkin, and she was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Her breakthrough came with her 2005 New York debut at Carnegie Hall, where she played Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Her 2007 recording of the piece on the Telarc label went to the top of the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart in the first week of its commercial release. It received numerous critical accolades, including a Diapason d’Or Award and a place on many prestigious “Best of the Year” lists. Her second recording, of a live 2007 recital in Berlin featuring works by Bach, Beethoven, and Philip Lasser, was released in 2008 and also shot to the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart in its first week. Signing with Sony Classical in 2010, Dinnerstein’s third recording, Bach: A Strange Beauty, was released in 2011; it not only topped the classical chart but became one of the top sellers of the year in any genre. A follow-up appeared one year later, Something Almost Being Said: Music of Bach and Schubert. Early in 2013, Dinnerstein collaborated with singer/songwriter Tift Merrit on a song cycle titled Night. That same year, she also released a purely classical album, Bach: Inventions & Sinfonias.
In her performance career, Dinnerstein has developed an impressive international résumé both as a recitalist and concerto soloist. She has performed recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Kennedy Center, among others throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia. Orchestras she has performed with include the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the Tokyo Symphony. She has gained wide public exposure through profiles in a broad range of print, broadcast, and web-based media, including Gramophone, The New York Times, and the Howard Stern Show. In addition to her traditional concert and recording career, Dinnerstein has devoted considerable time to volunteering as a performer in unconventional venues such as nursing homes, public schools, and state prisons. She organized and led the effort to bring the Havana Lyceum Orchestra to the U.S. for the first time following her 2017 album Mozart in Havana. Dinnerstein founded the string ensemble Baroklyn, which she directs from the piano. She issued An American Mosaic in 2021, featuring music by Richard Danielpour. ~ Stephen Eddins & Keith Finke