The 2018-19 season of Soka University’s Performing Arts Center begins Sept. 14 with the Southern California debut of a Philip Glass concerto.
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein and A Far Cry, a Boston-based chamber orchestra, plan to perform “Piano Concerto No. 3,” a work for piano and strings. Both premiered the work in Boston's Jordan Hall in 2017.
The Boston Globe called the concerto by Glass, an American composer best known for his minimalist style that had a profound impact on other compositions throughout the late 20th century, “a lush churn of unsettled harmonies, soloist and string orchestra in search of resolution. Yet resolution comes not with triumph, but by deliberate, cyclical turns.”
“Hearing the Southern California Premiere of Philip Glass’ new concerto in arguably one of the most beautiful sounding halls in the world is going to be quite an experience,” said Rene Bodie, general manager of the performing arts center. “The pairing of A Far Cry and Simone Dinnerstein on this concerto created by Glass specifically for Dinnerstein was a brilliant move.”
Rounding out the evening's program is Glass' “Symphony No. 3” and two Bach concertos: the “Keyboard Concerto in G minor” and “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major.”
The Glass symphony — one of 11 he has completed — premiered in 1995 in Germany. Glass has noted how he wrote the four-movement composition with the intent on treating each musician performing it — the premiere by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra had 19 players — as a soloist.
A Far Cry, founded in 2007, is a Grammy-nominated, self-conducted ensemble that prides itself on taking risks. Its players dub themselves “criers” and count Yo-Yo Ma, Roomful of Teeth and the Silk Road Ensemble among their collaborators.
Dinnerstein is a Juilliard graduate whose credits range from playing alongside the New York Philharmonic and Royal Scottish National Orchestra to giving the first classical performance for the Louisiana state prison system.
Moreover, the New York-based musician has founded Neighborhood Classics, a concert series hosted by New York public schools to raise money for music education, and “Bachpacking,” which brings a digital keyboard into classrooms for an up-close examination of music.
Bradley Zint is a contributor to Times Community News.
If You Go
What: Concertos by Bach + Glass: A Far Cry with Simone Dinnerstein
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 14.
Where: Soka University Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo.
Cost: Tickets are $60 for adults and $84 for attendees under 18, students, seniors and active military.