Concert Artists of Baltimore Opens 29th Season with “Women of Power”

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Concert Artists of Baltimore Opens 29th Season with “Women of Power”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2015

Tonya Robles, 410-625-3525, ext. 100

Concert Artists of Baltimore Announces Season Opening Concert: Women of Power with Simone Dinnerstein

Baltimore, MD: Concert Artists of Baltimore presents the season opening performance and first concert in its Maestro Series, “Women of Power”. Led by Artistic Director Edward Polochick, the program features guest artist Simone Dinnerstein in the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15; the Concert Artists of Baltimore Women’s Chorus in Cotel’s My Shalom, My Peace (poems by Jewish and Arab children); and soprano soloist Melissa Wimbish in Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre.

Maestro Polochick described the innovative program: “The CAB Women’s Chorus is highlighted in Morris Cotel’s haunting and beautiful My Shalom, My Peace; in one of the most unusual arias you’ll ever hear, from Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre, we have amazing soprano Melissa Wimbish; and Concert Artists has the privilege of featuring a world-class pianist in Simone Dinnerstein, performing Brahms’ first piano concerto. Add up these elements, and we have a concert full of powerful women!”

As part of the celebration of “Women of Power”, Concert Artists of Baltimore is hosting two pre-concert events: a master class on October 1 with Simone Dinnerstein, and a pre-concert reception hosted by Henry and Dorothy Rosenberg honoring women leaders in the arts, education, and government. Details about the master class and reception are forthcoming.

Performance Date: Saturday, October 3, 2015, 7:00pm. Tickets are $30-35 for adults and $10 for students with ID. Visit or call 410-625-3525, ext. 101, for concert tickets.

Performance Location: The Gordon Center For Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue, Owings Mills, MD, 21117. Safe and free parking available on site.

This concert is sponsored by the Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Albert R. Counselman and RCM&D Foundation.

Concert Artists of Baltimore is supported by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. These programs have been funded by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. These programs are also made possible by a grant from The Citizens of Baltimore County.

Simone Dinnerstein

American pianist Simone Dinnerstein is a searching and inventive artist who is motivated by a desire to find the musical core of every work she approaches. NPR reports, “She compels the listener to follow her in a journey of discovery filled with unscheduled detours . . . She’s actively listening to every note she plays, and the result is a wonderfully expressive interpretation.” The New York-based pianist gained an international following because of the remarkable success of her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which she raised the funds to record. Released in 2007 on Telarc, it ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart in its first week of sales and was named to many “Best of 2007” lists including those of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The New Yorker.

The four solo albums Dinnerstein has released since then – The Berlin Concert (Telarc), Bach: A Strange Beauty (Sony), Something Almost Being Said (Sony), and Bach: Inventions & Sinfonias (Sony) – have also topped the classical charts. Dinnerstein was the bestselling instrumentalist of 2011 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart and was included in NPR’s 2011 100 Favorite Songs from all genres. In spring 2013, Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt released an album together on Sony called Night, a unique collaboration uniting classical, folk, and rock worlds, exploring common terrain and uncovering new musical landscapes. Dinnerstein was among the top ten bestselling artists of 2014 on the Billboard Classical Chart.

In February 2015, Sony Classical released Dinnerstein’s newest album Broadway-Lafayette, which celebrates the time-honored transatlantic link between France and America and includes Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Philip Lasser’s The Circle and the Child: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, written for Dinnerstein. The album was recorded with conductor Kristjan Järvi and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra by Grammy-winning producer Adam Abeshouse.

Dinnerstein’s performance schedule has taken her around the world since her triumphant New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2005 to venues including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and London’s Wigmore Hall; festivals that include the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival, the Aspen, Verbier, and Ravinia festivals, and the Stuttgart Bach Festival; and performances with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Kristjan Järvi’s Absolute Ensemble, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Symphony.

Dinnerstein has played concerts throughout the U.S. for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues. She gave the first classical music performance in the Louisiana state prison system when she played at the Avoyelles Correctional Center, and performed at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in a concert organized by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Dedicated to her community, in 2009 Dinnerstein founded Neighborhood Classics, a concert series open to the public hosted by New York public schools which raises funds for the schools.

Dinnerstein is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music and in London with Maria Curcio. Simone Dinnerstein lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and son. She is managed by Ekonomisk Mgmt and is a Sony Classical artist.

Melissa Wimbish

Praised by The New York Times for her “stylish singing” and by The Boulder Daily Camera as “simply incredible…the highlight of the entire evening,” soprano Melissa Wimbish is consistently recognized by audiences for her artistry, technical prowess, and captivating stage presence. Ms. Wimbish recently made her Lyric Opera Baltimore debut as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro of which Opera News noted her “promising soprano”, while The Baltimore Sun praised her “bright voice” and “knack for animating phrases”.

This season, Wimbish makes her Merkin Hall debut with NYC-based chamber orchestra, American Modern Ensemble in Ghost Theater by Robert Paterson. In a self-produced recital along with former Peabody colleagues, they will pair Faure’s La chanson d’Eve with Jake Heggie’s Eve-Song, splitting solo song cycles among the trio in a recital at the historic Enoch Pratt Parish Hall. Wimbish returns to the Strathmore Theatre to perform excerpts from Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette this winter, followed by performances with Baltimore Concert Opera and Opera Delaware as Miss Rose in Lakmé. In recital, she presents Anton Heiller’s Zwei geistliche Gesänge with award-winning organist and professor Donald Sutherland.

Starting the 2013-14 season with the Prototype Festival, Wimbish premiered the role of the History Teacher in the highly celebrated and critically-acclaimed chamber opera, Paul’s Case by composer Gregory Spears directed by Kevin Newbury. Alongside pianist and wonderful composer Tom Cipullo, she performed in recitals presented by Urban Arias at Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. These frequent interpretations of modern music have led the soprano to several world-premieres including her debut with Strathmore Theatre’s National Philharmonic as Christine in Janice Hamer’s Lost Childhood, and her portrayal of Jackie Kennedy’s closest advisor, Nancy Tuckerman, in Camelot Requiem. Past operatic roles include Micaëla in Carmen, the Soprano in Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, Eve in Patrick Soluri’s Adam and Eve, Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), Manon (Manon), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Blöndchen (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Cunegonde (Candide), and as Elle in Poulenc’s monodrama for soprano, La voix humaine. 

The grand prize winner of the 2014 NATS Artist Award and the Franco-American Vocal Academy Prize for excellence in the interpretation of French repertoire, Wimbish will make her Weill Recital Hall debut in a solo recital singing works by Heggie, Cipullo and Debussy. Wimbish was a finalist in the 2013 International Liszt-Garrison Competition and was awarded Best Interpretation of American Song. A winner of the Vocal Arts Society Discovery Recital Series, she made her Kennedy Center recital debut in 2011. That same year, she won the Denver Philharmonic Concerto Competition and placed second in the Kennett Square Symphony Competition.

Edward Polochick

The current season marks Maestro Polochick’s 29th year as Artistic Director of Concert Artists of Baltimore. 2015-2016 also marks his 18th season as Music Director of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra in Nebraska. From 1979-1999 he was on the staff of the Baltimore Symphony as Director of the Symphony Chorus, and since 1979 he has been at the Peabody Conservatory as Associate Conductor of the Orchestra, Director of Choral Ensembles, and Opera Conductor. An accomplished pianist and harpsichordist, he has appeared as piano soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Since winning the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Award and conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, Maestro Polochick has attracted attention as an orchestral, operatic, and choral conductor. His appearances have included the Baltimore Symphony, Houston Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Aalborg Symphony of Denmark, Omaha Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Daejeon Philharmonic in Korea, St. Petersburg Symphony in Russia, and the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra in Toluca, Mexico.

Mr. Polochick resides in Baltimore, where he is often asked to share his knowledge and love of music at various lecture series, adjudications, and radio broadcasts. He received the Peggy and Yale Gordon Achievement Award and in 2000 he was made an honorary member of the Baltimore Music Club. In 2002 he was awarded the Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumnus Award, one of only three Peabody alumni to be so honored. In 2003-04 he was named Baldwin Scholar at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, where he held lectures, demonstrations, and panels on the creative act of music. Maestro Polochick is also a regular panelist on Face The Music, a review of recordings hosted by Jonathan Palevsky of WBJC-FM. In 2011 he adjudicated the Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition in Caiazzo, Italy. Last season Maestro Polochick led a set of Masterworks Series concerts on the podium of the Charleston (S.C.) Symphony.

Concert Artists of Baltimore

Founded by Edward Polochick and entering its 29th season, Concert Artists of Baltimore (CAB) consists of a professional chamber orchestra and professional chamber chorus. The full ensembles are featured in The Maestro Series, with performances this season at the Gordon Center For Performing Arts and St. Pius X Church. CAB also offers chamber music, The Mansion Series, with performances at The Engineers Club at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion. This series showcases smaller forces, such as a quartet or small vocal group, and often features unique repertoire.

The orchestra and chorus are frequently hired for performances throughout the region by other organizations, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera Baltimore, Moscow Ballet, the Baltimore Basilica, Temple Oheb Shalom, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, McDaniel College, St. Louis Church, The Holocaust Museum, The Visionary Arts Museum, The Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, and Catholic Charities. When larger forces are needed, such as when the singers of Concert Artists perform Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra each year, the chorus expands to the Concert Artists Symphonic Chorale. The 2014-15 season featured a groundbreaking collaboration with the Baltimore Rock Opera Society at 2640 Space, a partnership that will continue this season.

The mission of Concert Artists of Baltimore is to present classical music performances of well- known and lesser-known composers by an elite professional chorus and chamber orchestra, thus providing a visceral music experience to audiences in the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Area. In 2015 Concert Artists of Baltimore was one of 20 Baltimore arts organizations chosen by the DeVos Institute through a competitive application process to participate in “Capacity Building Baltimore”.


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