Performance will be at the Arthur Zankel Music Center
Acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein and the young, virtuosic Havana Lyceum Orchestra led by José Antonio Méndez Padrón will bring their remarkable cross-cultural Mozart in Havana tour to Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center on June 20 at 7 p.m., in a concert co-presented by Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Skidmore College. SPAC’s collaboration with Skidmore College follows the recently announced programming partnership with Saratoga Springs’ iconic folk venue Caffé Lena as the second significant partnership with another cultural organization in the Capital Region, and marks a continuation of SPAC’s commitment to bringing together a network of cultural institutions in the region.
About Simone Dinnerstein
Dinnerstein is one of the most acclaimed pianists of her generation - called "an artist of true expressive force" by the Washington Post and "a throwback to such high priestesses of music as Wanda Landowska and Myra Hess" by Slate. She is also one of the most expansive, counting among her catalogue projects with singer-songwriter Tift Merritt, thereminist Pamelia Kurstin, jazz pianist Brad Mehldau and others. Simone Dinnerstein is a searching and inventive artist who is motivated by a desire to find the musical core of every work she approaches. The New York-based pianist gained an international following with the remarkable success of her recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, which she independently 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, Los Angeles Times and the New Yorker.
About José Antonio Méndez Padrón
José Antonio Méndez Padrón is the founding music director of the Havana Lyceum Orchestra. He has toured Canada, Spain, France, Austria, the U.S., Ecuador and Nicaragua, and five of his albums have received Cubadisco prizes in the past decade. Since 2011 he has been deputy director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.
Padrón is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Havana, Cuba, where he specialized in choral direction under María Felicia Pérez and orchestra direction under Jorge López Marín. He has taken advanced classes with important musical directors such as Jorge Rotter, Thomas Hengelbrock, Shalev Ad El and the master Ronald Zollman. In 2011, he studied at the Mozarteum University's Summer Academy with Peter Gülke and the soloists of Salzburg Chamber Orchestra.
About the Havana Lyceum Orchestra
The Havana Lyceum Orchestra was founded in 2009 in collaboration with the Mozart Lyceum of Havana, an institution co-sponsored by the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation in Austria. It brings together students, recent graduates and professors from the University of the Arts, the National School of Music and the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory.
The Havana Lyceum Orchestra has quickly established itself as a central element of Cuba's musical life. The Orchestra has performed extensively in Cuba and abroad to widespread critical acclaim. In 2015 the Orchestra performed at Salzburg's annual Mozartewoche in collaboration with the celebrated Cuban flutist Niurka González during