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Event is Live
Carnegie Hall Presents

Renée Fleming, Soprano
Uma Thurman, Narrator
Emerson String Quartet
Simone Dinnerstein, Piano

Sunday, January 23, 2022 2 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Renée Fleming by Andrew Eccles / Decca, Uma Thurman by Peter Lindbergh, Emerson String Quartet by Jürgen Frank, Simone Dinnerstein
Enter a world of myth, music, and drama in this fascinating collaboration from composer André Previn and playwright Tom Stoppard. Focusing on one of literature’s great heroines, Penelope retells the story of the woman who stood strong awaiting the return of her wandering husband, Odysseus. Impassioned vocalism and intense drama make this an unforgettable piece, even more so when performed by Renée Fleming, “America’s soprano of choice” (The New York Times), the “always interesting” Emerson String Quartet, and pianist Simone Dinnerstein with the incomparable Uma Thurman as the work’s narrator. 

Performers

Renée Fleming, Soprano
Uma Thurman, Narrator
Emerson String Quartet
·· Eugene Drucker, Violin
·· Philip Setzer, Violin
·· Lawrence Dutton, Viola
·· Paul Watkins, Cello
Simone Dinnerstein, Piano

Program

BARBER String Quartet in B Minor, Op. 11

PHILIP GLASS Mad Rush

GRIEG Sechs Lieder, Op. 48
·· Lauf der Welt
·· Zur Rosenzeit

FAURÉ "Les berceaux," Op. 23, No. 1

FAURÉ "Au bord de l'eau," Op. 8, No. 1

KEVIN PUTS Evening

PREVIN / TOM STOPPARD Penelope (NY Premiere)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 90 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

Listen to Selected Works

Bios

Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. Honored with four Grammy  ...

Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. Honored with four Grammy Awards and the US National Medal of Arts, she has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014, Ms. Fleming became the first classical artist ever to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl.

Ms. Fleming’s concert calendar this season has included appearances in Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Houston. During the pandemic, her performances on digital platforms included streamed online concerts for the Metropolitan Opera, the Kennedy Center, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, Ms. Fleming appeared opposite Ben Whishaw in Norma Jeane Baker of Troy to open The Shed in New York City. Later that year, she appeared in the London premiere of The Light in the Piazza, later bringing the acclaimed production to Los Angeles and Chicago. She earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Carousel.

With 17 Grammy nominations, Ms. Fleming has recorded everything from complete operas and classical song recitals to jazz and indie rock. Her voice is featured on the soundtracks of Best Picture Academy Award winners The Shape of Water and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Her latest album is Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, with Yannick Nézet-Seguin as pianist. A collection of classical songs and specially commissioned world premieres, the album focuses on nature as both inspiration and casualty of humans.

In recent years, Ms. Fleming has become known as a leading advocate for research at the intersection of arts, health, and neuroscience, giving presentations with scientists and practitioners around the world. In 2020, she launched Music and Mind LIVE, a weekly web show that explores the connections between arts, human health, and the brain, amassing nearly 700,000 views from 70 countries.

Ms. Fleming leads SongStudio at Carnegie Hall, where she is a member of the Board of Trustees. She is also artistic advisor to the Kennedy Center, advisor for special projects at LA Opera, and co-director of the Aspen Opera Center and VocalARTS at the Aspen Music Festival. Her other notable awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

For more information, visit reneefleming.com

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Uma Thurman

Uma Thurman returns to Penelope after being part of the work’s world premiere in 2019. She is best known for her work in film. In 2017, Ms. Thurman completed her Broadway debut as the  ...

Uma Thurman returns to Penelope after being part of the work’s world premiere in 2019. She is best known for her work in film. In 2017, Ms. Thurman completed her Broadway debut as the star of The Parisian Woman. She was previously seen on the New York stage in the Classic Stage Company’s 1999 production of The Misanthrope. Born in Boston and raised in Amherst, Ms. Thurman currently lives in New York City with her three children.

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Emerson String Quartet

The Emerson String Quartet has maintained its status as one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles for more than four decades. “With musicians like this,” wrote a ...

The Emerson String Quartet has maintained its status as one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles for more than four decades. “With musicians like this,” wrote a reviewer for The Times (London), “there must be some hope for humanity.” The quartet has made more than 30 acclaimed recordings, and has been honored with nine Grammy Awards (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year” award.

In the 2021–2022 season, the quartet reprises André Previn’s Penelope at the Kennedy Center. In addition to touring major American venues extensively, the quartet returns to the Chamber Music Society of Louisville, where the members complete the second half of a Beethoven cycle they began in spring 2020. Finally, the quartet embarks on a six-city tour of Europe, with stops in Athens, Madrid, Pisa, Florence, Milan, and London’s Southbank Centre to present the complete Shostakovich cycle—one of the staples in their repertoire.

The Emerson String Quartet’s extensive discography includes the complete string quartets of Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bartók, Webern, and Shostakovich, as well as multi-CD sets of the major works of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Dvořák. In 2018, Deutsche Grammophon issued a box of the quartet’s complete recordings on the label. In October 2020, the group released a recording of Robert Schumann’s three string quartets for the Pentatone label. In the preceding year, the quartet joined forces with Grammy-winning pianist Evgeny Kissin to release their debut collaborative album for Deutsche Grammophon, recorded live at a sold-out Carnegie Hall concert in 2018.

Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson String Quartet was one of the first quartets to have its violinists alternate in the first chair position. The quartet, which takes its name from American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, balances busy performing careers with a commitment to teaching, and serves as Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. In 2013, cellist Paul Watkins—a distinguished soloist, award-wining conductor, and devoted chamber musician—joined the original members of the quartet to form today’s group.

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Simone Dinnerstein

Simone Dinnerstein has a distinctive musical voice. The Washington Post has called her “an artist of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity.” She first came to ...

Simone Dinnerstein has a distinctive musical voice. The Washington Post has called her “an artist of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity.” She first came to public attention in 2007 through her recording of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, reflecting an aesthetic that was both deeply rooted in the score and profoundly idiosyncratic. She is, wrote The New York Times, “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.”

Since that recording, Ms. Dinnerstein has had a busy performing career. She has appeared with orchestras that range from the New York Philharmonic to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and performed in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Seoul Arts Center. Her 10 albums have all topped the Billboard classical charts.

This season, Ms. Dinnerstein takes on a number of new artistic challenges. She gives the world premiere of The Eye Is the First Circle at Montclair State University—the first multimedia production she has conceived, created, and directed—which uses her father Simon Dinnerstein’s painting The Fulbright Triptych and Charles Ives’s Piano Sonata No. 2 as source materials. In addition, she premieres Richard Danielpour’s An American Mosaic, a tribute to those affected by the pandemic, in a performance on multiple pianos placed throughout Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery.

Ms. Dinnerstein has released a trilogy of albums recorded at her home in Brooklyn during the pandemic: A Character of Quiet, featuring the music of Philip Glass and Schubert; Richard Danielpour’s An American Mosaic; and Undersong. She is nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award in the category of Best Classical Instrumental Solo for An American Mosaic.

Ms. Dinnerstein lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son, and dog—less than one mile from the hospital in which she was born.

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