On the heels of its wildly successful concert by jazz great Wynton Marsalis and his septet, Gretna Music is presenting classical pianist/vocalist Simone Dinnerstein this Saturday, Oct. 10, at Mount Gretna Playhouse.

This will be the world debut of Dinnerstein’s new album, Character of Quiet, which is No. 1 on the classical music BillBoard chart.

With social distancing guidelines in effect, there are about 150 tickets available for the 3 p.m. performance.

Plans came together very quickly. Gretna Music Executive Director Suzanne Stewart said she and Artistic Director Carl Kane wanted to wait to see how well the Oct. 3 concert went with Marsalis before moving forward with a second performer.

But everything was so wonderful at the sold-out event, Gretna Music worked to get one more concert in before the playhouse shuts down the for season, she said.

Dinnerstein is “very expressive in her playing,” Stewart said, describing her music as “very contemplative.”

“It’s supposed to be beautiful,” she said.

The Washington Post called Dinnerstein “an artist of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity,” and The New York Times said she was “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.”

All 10 of her albums, with a repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Ravel, have topped the Billboard classical charts.

Though she has played with orchestras around the world and in famous locations, including the Kennedy Center and Sydney Opera House, her website said Dinnerstein also “is committed to giving concerts in nontraditional venues and to audiences who don’t often hear classical music.”

Her Gretna Playhouse program will include three Philip Glass etudes and Schubert’s B-flat sonata. On her website, Dinnerstein explained their appeal:

“Their asceticism suited the moment. But there is a sensual element in both, too, because the human voice is central to Glass and Schubert’s sound worlds. They both create a feeling of a solitary journey, a sense of time being trapped through repeated vision and revision as the music tries to work itself to a conclusion. This all spoke to the way I was feeling.”

Tickets, which are $30 each, must be purchased online here.

Ticket buyers must answer that they have read and will abide by the terms of attendance found on the page. At the concert, masks must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times. Organizers also will be conducting temperature checks, as per COVID-19 safety protocols.

At the Marsalis concert, there were no problems with compliance, Stewart said.

“Everybody abided by the rules,” she said. “Everybody was really really good about keeping their masks on.”

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Paula Wolf worked for 31 years as a general assignment reporter, sports columnist, and editorial writer for LNP Media. A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, she is a lifetime resident of Lancaster County.


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