Mozart in Havana
Mozart in Havana: Piano Concertos Nos. 21 & 23—Simone Dinnerstein, Havana Lyceum Orchestra/José Antonio Méndez Padrón (Sony 538244)
With the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition underway this Spring, we feature this CD recorded in Cuba with pianist Simone Dinnerstein and a testament to the ability of music to cross cultural and language barriers. This project is a return to the American pianist’s origins as a musician. Her connection with Cuba started early with Solomon Mikowsky, a Cuban émigré who became her piano teacher when she was all of nine years old. Mikowsky would tell stories of his childhood in Cuba and the country’s many musical influences. When he inaugurated the Encuentro de Jóvenes Pianistas (Meeting of Young Pianists) festival in Havana in 2013, he invited Dinnerstein to play, and she accepted without hesitation. Returning to the festival in 2015, she played for the first time with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra and was deeply impressed. Within a year, she had returned to Havana to record Mozart s Piano Concerto Nos. 21 and 23, sessions that would become Mozart in Havana. The recording was completed over three long, sleepless nights using donated strings and recording equipment brought in by Grammy® winning producer Adam Abeshouse.