Baltimore, Md. (October 16, 2009)—World-class pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who has amazed audiences at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center and whom O Magazine describes as “timeless, meditative, utterly audacious” for her interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, will perform selections by Bach and Schubert at a most unlikely venue on Friday, October 23 at 11:00 a.m.: the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCI-W). Ms. Dinnerstein will answer questions from the inmates following the performance.
Since 1996, Ms. Dinnerstein has played concerts throughout the United States for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. Amongst the places she has played are nursing homes, schools and community centers. Most notably, Ms. Dinnerstein gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system. Because Ms. Dinnerstein shares the BSO’s vision to make classical music accessible by performing in unlikely venues, the BSO partnered with the Maryland Correctional Institution to create this unique event. The BSO and Simone Dinnerstein’s joint effort to reach all members of our community affords the staff and inmates at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup, Md. the opportunity to enjoy one of the top pianists in the world. This partnership is made possible in part thanks to Jordan Kitts Music, which is covering a portion of the piano rental and moving fees.
“We’re thrilled to allow such an icon to come inside the fence for our staff and inmates,” says MCI-W Warden Carroll Parish, whose prison strives to provide countless programs and services to its population of approximately 820 women.
Bringing culturally-enhancing activities and guests into Maryland State prisons is not unprecedented. Two years ago, Patuxent Institution hosted a professional Shakespeare theatre company and well-known gospel artists such as Christopher Tate.
“We are grateful to the Department of Correctional Services for partnering with us to make this possible. There were a lot of logistics involved—such as figuring out how to get a grand piano through security,” says Jeff Counts, BSO Vice President of Artistic Planning. “Despite the hurdles, the Baltimore Symphony believes that all people should have access to great art and we seek to do our part to make that possible. Simone’s beautifully expressive performances and winsome, down-to-earth nature will create a memorable experience for everyone present.”
Simone Dinnerstein is scheduled to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), under the direction of Louis Langrée, on Thursday, October 22 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 25 at 3:00 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Saturday, October 24 at 8:00 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore.