Will Co-Present Present ‘Mozart in Havana’ with Simone Dinnerstein and the Havana Lyceum Orchestra on Tuesday, June 20 at 7 pm at Arthur Zankel Music Center
The tour represents the first time an orchestra of this size has traveled to the U.S. from Cuba since the revolution
SARATOGA SPRINGS – 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.
The Mozart in Havana tour is a culmination of a musical collaboration between the pianist and the orchestra, which produced the new album, also titled Mozart in Havana, released today, April 21, featuring Mozart’s Piano Concerto Nos. 21 and 23. A testament to music’s ability to cross all cultural and language barriers, the June tour represents the first time an orchestra of this size has traveled to the U.S. from Cuba since the revolution.
“I have a long personal and professional connection to the music and musicians of Cuba – and a long-standing admiration for the artistry of Simone Dinnerstein,” said Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of SPAC. “While the SPAC Amphitheater Stage is too large – and the Spa Little Theatre stage too small – the Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College is perfect in size and acoustics for showcasing these incredible classical musicians. And I am thrilled that this unique, wonderful musical project is coming to Saratoga through partnership.”
While SPAC and Skidmore College have worked together on Jazz and dance programs in the past, this concert marks the first time the two institutions have co-presented a concert like this. “It is truly exciting for Skidmore to be partnering with SPAC on this project. Hopefully, this will be the first of many similar collaborations,” said Paul Calhoun, Dean of Special Programs at Skidmore College.
Dinnerstein’s connection to Cuba began at a young age, when Solomon Mikowsky, a Cuban émigré who became her piano teacher, would tell stories of his childhood in Cuba and the country’s many musical influences. Dinnerstein recalls, “I learned so much from Solomon, and one thing was that a musical culture is not something you have to be born to but something you can choose.”
In 2015, Dinnerstein traveled to Havana to play a Mozart concerto with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra. Not knowing what to expect, she was deeply impressed. “They played with thoughtful sensitivity and sensual beauty, despite the fact that in some cases the materials they were using were inferior. It was clear that the sound they made came from inside them, not simply from their instruments.” That experience inspired a desire for a deeper collaboration with the orchestra. Within a year she had returned to Havana to record with the Orchestra what would become Mozart in Havana.
In addition to the June 20 concert presented by SPAC and Skidmore College, the tour by Dinnerstein and the Orchestra will take them to New York’s Naumburg Bandshell, and The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. Dinnerstein will also perform the repertoire with the National Symphony Orchestra at the National Music Center in Costa Rica.
Mozart in Havana tickets are available HERE.
Ticket prices: $30 General Admission/ $25 Senior/ $20 SPAC member.
For show information, visit Skidmore’s Zankel Website.