The Neighborhood Classics concert series at public schools in New York continues with a performance by the Cypress String Quartet (Cecily Ward, violin; Tom Stone, violin; Ethan Filner, viola; and Jennifer Kloetzel, cello), described by Time Out New York as the “lauded San Francisco foursome,” tonight, April 26 at 7pm at PS 142’s Auditorium (100 Attorney Street, NYC). The Quartet’s program will include music by Haydn, Glazunov, and Dvo?ák. Neighborhood Classics founder and Artistic Director Simone Dinnerstein will host the hour-long, family-friendly concert. Ticket sales benefit PS 142.
The Cypress String Quartet, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary season, was formed in San Francisco in 1996, and during its initial rehearsals the group created a Signature Sound through intense readings of J.S. Bach’s Chorales. Built up from the bottom register of the quartet and layered like a pyramid, the resulting sound is clear and transparent, allowing the texture of the music to be discerned immediately. The Cypress continues to maintain a busy national and international tour schedule, making appearances on concert series and in venues including Cal Performances, Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Stanford Lively Arts, Krannert Center and Ravinia Festival.
This season the Cypress String Quartet has added two more new recordings to its ten-album discography. In November, the Quartet released The American Album, which includes Barber’s Quartet Op. 11, Griffes’ Two Sketches Based on Indian Themes, and Dvo?ák’s String Quartet No. 12, “American.” In March, the Cypress completed its three-CD set of Beethoven’s Late Quartets. The Cleveland Plain Dealer writes, “The Cypress players converse with such rare sincerity as to make long-familiar music sound utterly fresh.” (Review copies available upon request.)
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein founded the Neighborhood Classics series at PS 321, the school that her son attends and where her husband teaches, in 2009 and at Manhattan’s PS 142 in 2010 in an effort to build relationships at a local level between neighborhoods and musicians. These one-hour, family-friendly performances, which are hosted by Dinnerstein and feature musicians she has admired and collaborated with during her career, are open to the public and raise funds for the schools. The musicians performing donate their time and talent to the program, and the concerts are organized and administered by PTA volunteers and faculty members. Neighborhood Classics has already raised enough funds to bring back the fourth grade band program at PS 142. At PS 321, proceeds benefit the school’s PTA, which helps to fund art, chess, band, and chorus programs.
“This concert series is about bringing communities together around music,” explains Ms. Dinnerstein. “It is a way for students, parents, teachers and neighbors to gather in a familiar and comfortable setting to listen to great music.”
The 2011-2012 Neighborhood Classics season concludes at PS 321 on Sunday, June 3 at 2pm with a performance by the stunning teenage new music stars, Face the Music.