Simone Dinnerstein first caught the public’s attention with her self-financed recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in 2007; since then she’s been playing a lot of Bach, and a lot of works by other composers. She’ll be playing the West Coast premiere of the Piano Concerto number 3 by Philip Glass, which she commissioned with 12 ensembles, including the New Century Chamber Orchestra. It’s on a program with works by Purcell, Geminiani, and Bryce Dessner.
There’s more information about the performances at the New Century Chamber Orchestra website. They’ll have performances in five venues, in Davis, Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and San Rafael.
“I commissioned Philip Glass to compose his piano concerto to be paired with this particular Bach keyboard concerto,” Dinnerstein says. “So all of the performances that I’m doing of it with all of the co-commissioning orchestras, we include both the Bach and the Glass together.” There were a dozen ensembles, and since giving the premiere (and recently recording them) with the group called A Far Cry, she’s been making the circuit, performing them. “Glass’s music is very contrapuntal, it’s very layered and textured, and he has a way of using sequences of patterns that is reminiscent of Bach. The other thing that’s interesting for me as an interpreter is that both Bach and Glass leave quite a lot open to interpretation. There’s not a lot written in the score about tempo, dynamics, phrasing, articulation. All of these are sort of open questions, and that allows for lots of variation in terms of the interpretation.” For this concert, the guest concertmaster is Zachary DePue. “New Century Chamber Orchestra is a conductorless orchestra, and so all of the members are used to taking more individual responsibility. We’re playing it in a formation where the piano is sort of nose-into the circle, and I really like that because I can have visual contact with everybody I’m playing with too.”