|Simone Dinnerstein (center in white) in Cuba with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra during their recording of "Mozart in Havana." [Arianna Dominguez/courtesy of Fairfax Symphony Orchestra]|
The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra has launched a new series, “FSO: Presents,” in honor of its upcoming 60th anniversary and the 275th anniversary of Fairfax County,
“The new series features guest artists and ensembles in an intimate concert setting in venues throughout Fairfax County,” says FSO Executive Director Jonathan Kerr.
“The series will bring unique performing arts experiences to Fairfax, further strengthening the FSO’s contribution to the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of the community,” Kerr says. “We want to engage our audiences with world-class music and innovative arts education programs.”
“FSO: Presents” will start with acclaimed New York-based pianist Simone Dinnerstein, a favorite of Northern Virginia audiences. Dinnerstein will perform with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra in their American debut. It’s their first stop on a national tour.
The tour will be the first time a Cuban orchestra of this size has traveled to the United States in more than 50 years. Dinnerstein and the Havana Lyceum Orchestra will perform works from her new album, “Mozart in Havana,” which was recorded in Havana last June.
Their first show will be Thursday, June 15, at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, featuring chamber music performed by the Havana Lyceum Orchestra Woodwind Quintet with Simone Dinnerstein at the piano.
On Sunday, June 18, Dinnerstein and the full Havana Lyceum Orchestra will perform at George Mason University’s Harris Theatre. Following the concert, former Classical WETA radio host David Ginder will have a discussion with the artists on stage.
The Havana Lyceum Orchestra was founded in 2008 by music director José Antonio Méndez Padrón. During their stay in Northern Virginia, educational programs and visits to Fairfax County schools are planned including a performance at Woodburn Elementary School on June 16.
Dinnerstein spoke of the Havana Lyceum Orchestra as youthful musicians with a “desire to explore music which can too often be worn away by familiarity, as well as by their beautiful sound — a sound they made despite the fact that even the simplest supplies, like strings and reeds, have been hard to come by in Cuba.”
“FSO: Presents” patrons will experience not only the debut of the new series, but a unique collaboration and historic event. “It will be a testament to music’s ability to cross cultural and language barriers,” said Dinnerstein.
Where and When: Simone Dinnerstein and the Havana Lyceum Woodwind Quintet appear June 15, 7 p.m., at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax. Tickets are $35 (reserved seating) and $25 (general admission).
Dinnerstein will perform with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra June 18, 5 p.m., at George Mason University’s Harris Theatre, 4440 University Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $45, $38, and $30.
Tickets for both shows can be purchased from the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra online or by calling 888-945-2468.
This piece is based on an article originally published in the Connection June 1.