Bach & Glass Piano Concertos

Sunday, November 7, 2021 2:30 pm

Perelman Theater

Monday, November 8, 2021 7:30 pm

Perelman Theater

Dirk Brossé

Simone Dinnerstein

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID will be required to attend this performance. 

About This Performance

Jessie Montgomery Strum

Johann Sebastian Bach Keyboard Concerto No. 7 BWV 1058

Philip Glass  Piano Concerto No. 3

Acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein joins the Chamber Orchestra for a captivating performance of two vibrant concertos. J.S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in G Minor is filled with the indelible, finely woven melodies of the Baroque master; all brought to life by “a singularly elegant Bach pianist” (NPR). Philip Glass’ Piano Concerto No. 3, written for and dedicated to Dinnerstein, showcases the composer’s rich harmonies and distinctive sound that have delighted listeners for more than 50 years. As the Washington Post writes, “ultimately, it is Dinnerstein’s unreserved identification with every note she plays that makes her performance so spellbinding.”


Read more in the program notes below.

Health and Safety

Vaccine and Mask Requirements
All guests 12 years of age or older will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (14 days after completing an FDA or WHO authorized single or two dose vaccine) for entry into all public events at Kimmel Cultural Campus venues. Adults 18+ will be required to show photo identification with their vaccination proof. “Fully Vaccinated” means that a guest’s event is at least 14 days after their final COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Valid proof of vaccination include: vaccination card, photo or digital copy of proof of vaccination. Proof of negative COVID test will not be accepted, with the exception of children under the age of 12. Guests under the age of 12 must provide proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the performance. Adults 18+ will be required to show government or school issued identification. Guests under 18 will not be required to show identification.

Mask Enforcement
All patrons are required to wear masks inside the venue at all times (except when consuming food or beverage). Drinks and food are not permitted in the theater. Prolonged periods of mask removal are not permitted. All face coverings must cover the nose and mouth and comply with the CDC guidelines for acceptable face coverings.

Program Notes

Strum – Jessie Montgomery

Strum is the culminating result of several versions of a string quintet I wrote in 2006. It was originally written for the Providence String Quartet and guests of Community MusicWorks Players, then arranged for string quartet in 2008 with several small revisions. In 2012 the piece underwent its final revisions with a rewrite of both the introduction and the ending for the Catalyst Quartet in a performance celebrating the 15th annual Sphinx Competition. The string orchestra arrangement represents the 2012 final version.

Originally conceived for the formation of a cello quintet, the voicing is often spread wide over the ensemble, giving the music an expansive quality of sound. Within Strum I utilized texture motives, layers of rhythmic or harmonic ostinati that string together to form a bed of sound for melodies to weave in and out. The strumming pizzicato serves as a texture motive and the primary driving rhythmic underpinning of the piece. Drawing on American folk idioms and the spirit of dance and movement, the piece has a kind of narrative that begins with fleeting nostalgia and transforms into ecstatic celebration.

Jessie Montgomery

Keyboard Concert No. 7, BWV 1058 – J.S. Bach

The notion of “arrangement”–adjusting musical works for performing forces other than their creators originally had in mind–took something of a bad rap in the 20th century, owing to the era’s general preoccupation with that somewhat poorly understood concept, “authenticity.” But through most of music history, composers have been happy to take existing works, both their own and other peoples’, and adapt them for new combinations of instruments. Bach would surely not have demurred at having his harpsichord concertos played on the piano; after all, even as harpsichord concertos they are themselves arrangements, being adaptations of music he originally wrote for violin.

The G-Minor Keyboard Concerto is based on Bach’s A-Minor Violin Concerto. This time the minor mode prompts a tone of poignant intensity throughout. Between two fast movements based again on the interplay of ritornello and solo passages comes a wonderfully eloquent Andante, the soloist weaving a fluent decorative line above the solemn tread of the bass while the orchestral violins and violas contribute a sequence of mostly simple chords in the middle of the harmony. The processional, almost hieratic, character of this superb music perhaps owes something to a number of Vivaldi’s more austerely expressive slow movements.

Bernard Jacobson

Piano Concerto No. 3 – Philip Glass

Written for pianist Simone Dinnerstein who is universally known for her interpretations of Bach, in 2016 Dinnerstein met Philip Glass at his home and performed music by Schubert and some of Glass’ piano pieces on the composer’s piano. Around this time Dinnerstein had started performing with the virtuoso chamber orchestra A Far Cry in Boston. Shortly afterwards, Glass was awarded the Glenn Gould Prize, Canada’s highest musical honor, and at the celebratory concert Dinnerstein performed Glass’ piano etudes. It was upon seeing the magical transaction that Dinnerstein had with the public it became an inevitability that Glass would compose a new piano concerto for her.

The collaboration between Dinnerstein and A FAR CRY continued in the intervening time, and in late 2017 all parties reunited in Boston for the world premiere of Piano Concerto No.3 (for piano and strings) that took place on 22 September 2017 on an entire program which paired the music of Bach and Glass. A few days later, the new concerto was recorded along with Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No.7 in G minor, BWV 1058 in Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Mass., a hall known for its famously warm acoustic and was released on Orange Mountain Music in May 2018.


Musicians in this performance

Violin I
Luigi Mazzocchi
Meichen Liao Barnes
Igor Szwec
Alexandra Cutler-Fetkewicz
Seula Lee
Joseph Kauffman

Violin II
Natasha Colkett
Elizabeth Kaderabek
Donna Grantham
Catherine Kei Fukuda
Tess Varley

Mary SangHyun Yong
Julian Tello
Chieh-Fan (Jay) Yiu
Pamela Fay

Branson Yeast
Elizabeth Thompson
Glenn Fishbach

Miles B. Davis
Anne Peterson