Student Vounteer Corps Gets a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Hervé Koubi

The Student Volunteer Corps is a high school job shadow program designed to give local students insight into the business of arts presenting. Twenty students from across Northwest Arkansas were selected to participate after submitting an application, referrals and an essay on their interest in the arts. From January to May, they will shadow Walton Arts Center staff and working theatre professionals at Trike Theatre, University of Arkansas and Theatre Squared. The final component of the program is to attend a 10x10 Series performance and write a one page review, in an effort to get them thinking critically about theatre. Our first two reviews are on Compagnie Herve Koubi, a French-Algerian dance troupe that features martial arts, capoeira and hip hop dance.

 

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Written By: Kennedy Fuller, 12th Grade, Fayetteville High School

Big fan of shows from out of this country? Love stunts and break dancing? Want to watch a show but don’t have a lot money? Well then Walton Art Center’s 10x10 presentation of Compagnie Hervé Koubi by Hervé Koubi is just the show for you.

On Thursday, February 2nd, the Walton Arts Center performed their 2nd 10x10 show and Arkansas Debut What The Day Owes To The Night or Ce Que Le Jour Doit à La Nuit, choreographed by Hervé Koubi. The French-Algerian show has travelled around the America and internationally and has been praised for its raw and fluid way of showing history through dance. The show is inspired by Yasmina Khadra’s novel about a young man traveling from family to family during the Algerian war and seeing the man grow up and mature into being his own person.

Through traditional music, the dancers combine breaking dancing, martial arts and stunts to create a story. All the dancers share a story differently than their partner, but that what makes the show better - the dancer tells their story. Watching men being thrown in the air and falling from various heights makes you stare at the dancers with wonder and curiosity.

This show will open your eyes to different cultures and even self-discovery. You will find the story to be fascinating and interesting, the music being lively and the dancers being storytellers. I rate this show a 9.5/10 and I would love to see this company come back again and spread their cultural arts amongst this state.

Written By: Chloe Kilpatrick, 10th Grade, Haas Hall Academy

Alongside his Algerian dance group, Frenchman Hervé Koubi has been sharing his choreography titled What the Day Owes to the Night to illustrate his Algerian pride and heritage through a remarkable combination of traditional music and physical talent. La Compagnie and Hervé Koubi use their contrasting and awe-inspring talents to evoke emotions and thoughts in a way only few can accomplish.

Before the start of the show, the choreographer Hervé Koubi came out to tell the audience his story and the underlying emotions behind it. Koubi and his dancers took different paths in pursuing dance. He was trained in France to be choreographer, while he discovered his incredibly talented dance company street dancing in Algeria. As they worked together in arranging the performance, they created a unique blend of martial arts, hip-hop and traditional dance education that exceeds any audience member’s expectations.

The dance lasted 75 minutes with no intermission, with a mix of traditional Algerian music and chants from the dancers in the background. The immense physical talent and cultural depth is shocking, but for the performers, they are simply telling their story in a manner that makes sense to them.

In the performance, dancers embody an entire culture rather than specific people. Even having no knowledge about the Algerian War of Independence, the audience leaves with an intimate understanding of the struggle and emotions of the Algerian people. Each stroke of a hand represents a cry for help and each leap represents fleeing citizens. Even Koubi himself couldn’t have imagined the success he had in his endeavors to represent his heritage.

The music played throughout the work helped evoke emotion, as enormous physical stunts were completed in total silence and martial arts during opera. The dancers were perfectly balanced, as they created a paradox of separation and unification. Dancers split into two groups in contrasting movements, yet remained in a large group. It is as though they are trapped within the stage much as they were trapped in the government, yet they have free spirits to express themselves.

Koubi and his gifted company have accomplished a haunting experience that could not have been executed better. Their motives screamed out at the audience without saying a single word, leaving a deep respect and awareness for the Algerian people. This experience is a decisive technique in history education, providing the audience with empathy rather than facts and using immense talent to promote a shared intent.

 

10 Things To Know About Hervé Koubi

We asked dance aficionado Hervé Koubi 10 questions to get a deeper understanding of what it's like being a renowned dancer, choreographer and visionary.

1.    Can you tell us a little about your background and training as a dancer?

I started my dance studies in Cannes with Michele and Anne-Marie Sanguin, and with Nathalie Crimi. I pursued my development at the International dance school Rosella Hightower in Cannes, then with the Opéra de Marseille where I took a lot of classical ballet classes. In 1999, I joined the Centre Chorégraphique National de Nantes, in 2001 the Centre Chorégraphique National de Caen and in 2003 and 2008 Compagnie Thor in Brussels. Unlike my dancers I had a very regular background but the interest of the porject lies in the mixt between the technique of the dancers and my perception of dance and choreography.

2.    You have a Doctorate of Pharmacology/Clinical Biology. Do you think that your studies have affected or prepared you for your work as a choreographer; and, are there any similarities between the two fields?  

I studied then and become a doctor to please my parents, but I couldn’t stand to be in a pharmacy. The appeal of dance has always been too strong for me to resist. For me, there aren’t any apparent connections between pharmacy and dance. Though I did learn physiology and anatomy, which has helped me better understand movement and how the body works, and developed a love for researching. I have been fascinated by all the experiences, the research and the investigations that lead to discoveries… I love to experiment and investigate when I choreograph. For “what the day owes to the night,” I have been investigating my own history but also I have been interesting in all forms of other artistic expression of orientalism. All these elements are part of my research and help me to create my projects.

 3.    When did you first become interested in choreography?

When I began my career as a dancer, I worked for several national companies in France, but I always preferred to be the author. I like to converse with the audience, to share my thoughts—so I decided to use choreography as a medium to express myself.

 4.    Your work is a fusion of capoeira, martial arts, and urban and contemporary dance. Does this describe all of your choreography or just this specific piece?

I used to work with a variety of styles and dancers, but this project is different. With these 12 dancers, there is a choreographic alchemy I can’t explain. They respond exactly to what I expect and love in dance. They are all athletes, but I didn’t want their athletic skills to eclipse what is the more important for me in a choreographic proposal: the meaning.

I went to Algeria when I was 25 to make light in my dark (unknown) family history. I had to give life to my orientalist dreams; I had to do it with dance. I had to do it with dancers from Algeria using their specific skills. Most of the dancers I met had a very good level in dance, especially in hip-hop (break dance) and capoeira. The youth of Algeria is like that, full of power, full of dreams. Our ways crossed and paved the way for this unique dance project.

 5.    Is there a choreographer who has been a great inspiration for you? If so, why?

I think we are all the result of our pathway. I am part of all my mentors and choreographers I’ve worked with and/or admire. What I’ve also learned in my studies of pharmacy is that, as Lavoisier said, “Nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed.”

6.    What do you want the audience to take away from your work?

 I want the audience to be free to feel what they want. I would like them to be moved by what they see on stage and to share in my vision of a global culture, of a brotherhood beyond the frontiers and beliefs.

7.    What is a typical day at the studio like?

We start off with stretching and cardio training for an hour and a half. After that, we keep work on our technique in hip-hop or capoeira for an hour. We end with rehearsal time for our current projects.

8.    Can you tell us a little about the piece you will be performing here in Fayetteville – Ce que le jour doit à la nuit (What the Day Owes the Night)?

This piece is very important to us. What I love about this piece is that it allows the dancers to really be themselves on stage. Like I always say to our dancers, “once on stage – the piece is yours.” I enjoy providing each dancer this responsibility. They are very free in this piece, even if all the choreography is very written and precise. I love that paradox. It really permits each dancer the opportunity for self-expression and the audience a chance to connect with each dancer in their own right.

9.    Can you describe or summarize your style and/or philosophy about choreography?

Dance is a very ephemeral form of art, however I am very attached to the notion of time, history and culture and how they influence the impact of dance. My philosophy about choreography is that we have to be curious, to remain open to others without demagogy—to share our love of dance with people around the world. Dance is a declaration of love. To share that passion with fellow dancers and then work together to build a beautiful piece of choreography full of meaning – as if it was the witness of a constructed common thought – is the epitome of love.

10. Pick 5 words – that start with the letter ‘H’ – that best describe your work.

Heartfelt. Healing. Harmonious. Happy. Hypnotizing.

Compagnie Hervé Koubi will be at WAC Feb. 2, 2017, at 7pm. Tickets are $10. Don't miss out! 

 

 

 

Join Us For A Grand Reopening Celebration

A behind-the-scenes look at the magic that happens inside...

Nearly three decades ago, the City of Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas and private donors conceived of and built the Walton Arts Center. Now after 25 years, Walton Arts Center is ready to reopen their doors after a 16-month renovation and expansion project. 

Construction of Walton Arts Center in 1991

Construction of Walton Arts Center in 1991

Whether measured by entertainment value, artistic ingenuity, educational opportunity or economic impact, Walton Arts Center functions as one of the region’s most dramatic achievement of public and private cooperation. It took outsized dreams, inspired vision and generous gifting, and eventually it all came together. Out of a shuttered building was created an entertainment locale in the heart of downtown Fayetteville, a stage for Broadway stars, a campus for the creative and an artistic escape for the more than two million people who have visited the arts center since it opened in 1992.

Over the past 25 years, the population of Northwest Arkansas has more than doubled and the desire for arts and entertainment has grown correspondingly. The need to expand and renovate our main facility had become clear, and in June 2015, we kicked off the first phase of construction with a groundbreaking ceremony. Fast forward sixteen months, after a successful 2015-16 “Hard Hat Season,” and we are once again ready to open the doors and share our new facility with the community! 

We will host a Grand Reopening Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 19, which will include a Family Open House: “Behind the Curtain” from 10 am to 1 pm and an Evening Celebration: “Encore!” from 6 pm to 10 pm. This will be the very first public event in the brand new Walton Arts Center! Remarks and a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place just before 10 am. Light snacks and drinks will be available, and a number of family friendly activities will take place throughout the event—giving patrons a behind-the-scenes look at the magic that happens in a performing arts theater.

Open House attendees will get to watch Ballet Arkansas’ rehearsal for "The Nutcracker" 

Open House attendees will get to watch Ballet Arkansas’ rehearsal for "The Nutcracker" 

 

Open House attendees will get to watch Ballet Arkansas’ rehearsal for The Nutcracker in the newly renovated Starr Theater and experience the new backstage space, which will include makeup demonstrations in the wardrobe room, paint-by-numbers scenery in the loading dock, audio and lighting equipment show and tell, and much more. There will also be performances by Trike Theatre, Shannon Wurst and Fayetteville Old Time Music along with a few other special surprises. To top things off, a “Wow-Me” guided tour will take people from the orchestra pit up to the catwalk above Baum Walker stage where participants will get to explore the spotlight booth and newly installed theatrical rigging that allows for props to literally fly out over the patrons in the main hall.

Jazz artist Champian Fulton

Jazz artist Champian Fulton

 

 

This grand day of festivities will conclude with an Evening Celebration featuring the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas with special guests Delta Cappella, the VoiceJam 2015 competition winners from Memphis as well as Chicago’s Mucca Pazza. Attendees can stop by the comedy lounge for a few laughs or the jazz lounge for the soulful sounds of Champian Fulton, kick back and enjoy a number of acoustic sets, or kick up your heels while swing dancing alongside lively tunes from the Fayetteville Jazz Collective.

We hope the new Walton Arts Center will continue to be a gift to the current and future generations of Northwest Arkansas. With a grand community gathering space bridging the vibrancy of Dickson Street and a newly renovated two-theater facility—including event spaces for local artists and large-scale productions to bring their magic to Northwest Arkansas—the 2nd Act of Walton Arts Center looks to be very exciting indeed.

We hope you'll join us and help christen the new building at our Grand Reopening Celebration. 

Arts in Education Week

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up” – Pablo Picasso

National Arts In Education Week: Walton Art Center SmART Teachers

Founded in 1996, Americans for the Arts has spent twenty years advocating for the creation of environments where arts and arts education thrive. In 2010, Congress helped bolster their campaign by designating “the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week.” Starting September 11 and running through September 17, 2016, “the field of arts education and its supporters join together in communities across the country to tell the story of the transformative power of the arts in education.”

Walton Arts Center (WAC) has long been a supporter of the role of arts in education. In addition to impacting over 32,000 children through the Colgate Classroom Series, WAC also provides in-school support for teachers who encourage the inclusion of arts across their curriculums. These SmART Teacher Residencies provide more than 60 contact hours of arts integration instruction and 75 hours of in-school arts integration role-modeling. We are honored to partner with the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Trike Theatre of Bentonville, AR - both of which provide the teaching artists who work with, train and guide our local Arkansas teachers.

This past Tuesday, WAC hosted an orientation for our SmART teachers, providing them with classroom series information and professional development credit for the 2016-17 Season. Our teachers were given the chance to relax and unleash their own creativity with a hands-on clay making activity led by our partner organization, Community Creative Center (CCC). Instructed by a CCC artists, our teachers (and their children!) coiled, sculpted and stretched their clay trivets to life.

Walton Arts Center is always excited to encourage the creativity of Northwest Arkansas children and to inspire our community teachers to pursue their own artistic passions when National Arts in Education week rolls around each year. And this year was no exception!

Sip, Sip, Hooray!

Have a long week ahead of or behind you?  Come 'wine about it' with us at this year's 16th Annual Art of Wine Festival at Walton Arts Center. This premier wine and food festival will take place June 9-11 and it is sure to entice patrons with the world's finest wines and an array of artfully crafted local cuisine in a unique atmosphere. 

Like a good wine, the Art of Wine Festival has only gotten better with age. Since 2000, attendees of the event have enjoyed Walton Arts Center's exquisite display of delicious wines and food. Whether you go to all three days, or just one, this multi-day wine and food festival will not disappoint.  

A Walton Arts Center favorite, the Art of Wine Festival will feature hundreds of wines, dozens of local restaurants and live entertainment. Why book an expensive trip to Napa Valley when everything you would experience there is right here in Northwest Arkansas? 

The best part of it is that 100% of the proceeds from Art of Wine go to supporting Walton Arts Center’s arts education and outreach programs. These initiatives have been the cornerstone of the Center since it opened in 1992. Each year over 45,000 students and teachers from 30 school districts experience the arts through high quality live theater performances, workshops and in-school residency activities because of funds raised from Art of Wine.

Studies consistently show that children that are exposed to the arts are more engaged and score higher in other areas of their education including reading, writing and math. 

We have attended Art of Wine events for years and regard it as one of the premier events in Northwest Arkansas!
— Wayne and Diane Callahan, Walton Arts Center patrons and loyal Art of Wine supporters

Winemaker's Dinner- 

Dine and mingle on the same stage where Broadway stars and entertainment legends have performed. Enjoy an exclusive evening with a five-course meal and a large selection of outstanding wines. This evening also features one of the most unique silent auctions in the region. Bid on art, wine and other special items.

Uncorked: Friday Night Tasting-

Friday night is the party of the summer. You can choose from a selection of over 400 different wines from around the world and food from the area's best restaurants-all in a festive party atmosphere at the heart of Northwest Arkansas' entertainment district. So grab your friends, enjoy the tasting experience and discover your new favorite wine. This tasting features our exciting WINE PULL, where $20 cash gets you a surprise bottle of wine!

Premier Tasting-

The Premier Tasting is a grand opportunity for discerning wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs. For the price of an elite bottle, you can sample many of the finest wines in the world, some of which are not available except at prestigious wine festivals like this one. Featured wines may include Opus One, Dom Perignon, Honig and Mondavi. Guests will enjoy delectable, heavy hors d'ouevres prepared by the Northwest Arkansas' best chefs, and a selection of silent auction items will be up for bid. In addition, the popular WINE PULL will make its Premier Tasting Debut!

In case you still aren't convinced, here are three more reasons why you need to be at this year's Art of Wine event:

  1. You should come drink wine with us because it isn't good to keep things bottled up. 
  2. You need to come drink wine with us because life is too short to drink bad wine. 
  3. You ABSOLUTELY have to come drink wine with us because not only does wine get better with age, but we think age gets better with wine!

So mark your calendars and come wine and dine with us, we can't think of a reason not to attend!

 

 

  

Starr Theater is OPEN!

A much anticipated milestone in the renovation of Walton Arts Center: Starr Theater is open! This week, Starr Theater re-opened for the education performance, Digging Up Arkansas. Students from throughout Northwest Arkansas are the very first to experience a show in this newly expanded space. Education is at the forefront of what we do, and we cannot imagine a better way to debut this space than with our wonderful students and teachers that we strive to serve throughout the school year.

Children entering the new Starr Theater.

Children entering the new Starr Theater.

Prior to the renovation, programming opportunities were limited in Starr Theater due to inadequate backstage space. As the size of large touring shows increased, so did the need for backstage space, forcing Starr Theater to be turned into a storage closet for nearly 1/3 of the calendar year. When Walton Arts Center opened for the 2015-2016 season, the new backstage spaces had been completed. These new spaces include a large wardrobe room to hold costumes, wigs and makeup that were often housed in Starr Theater prior to the renovation. Adding these much needed spaces will allow Walton Arts Center to continue to grow and expand with the community.

Starr Theater during a large production prior to the renovation.

Starr Theater during a large production prior to the renovation.

Moving forward, Walton Arts Center hopes to use this renovated space to program, allowing the venue to function as a two-theater facility year round. Join us for the first public show in Starr Theater, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, next week. Below you can see the new entrance to Starr as well as the theater's new windows overlooking the future Underwood Family Plaza. We are so excited for the next chapter and to fully finish our renovation by November 2016. Hope to see you soon at Walton Arts Center! 

To learn more about the expansion and how you can Play a pART, please visit our expansion webpage!  

SONA presents "Masterworks II: Strings in the Spotlight"

On Saturday, March 19, the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) will present "Masterworks II: Strings in the Spotlight." This classical feast will include Haydn’s popular London symphony and a rare feature of symphonic strings in Elgar's gorgeous Serenade. Adding some spice to the evening, SoNA’s principal flutist Virginia Broffitt Kunzer will be the soloist in Ibert’s breathtaking Concerto for Flute. Also featuring members of the Ozark Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. 

 

 

Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny come to WAC!

Walton Arts Center will soon welcome the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, as they present “Goodnight Moon” and ”The Runaway Bunny." Based on the classic children’s books written by Margaret Wise Brown, both tales feature endearing rabbit characters and inspire our youngest readers with gentle stories of bedtime, independence and growing up. 

Mermaid Theatre's signature, imaginative storytelling through puppetry will bring to life both stories on the Baum Walker stage.

With productions hoping to inspire families to share the experience of attending live theatre at an early age, Mermaid Theatre adapts well-known children’s books and works tirelessly to bring them to life on stage. By adapting such productions, they also hope to encourage reading among a younger audience. Each year Mermaid Theatre presents over 400 performances to 200,000 spectators worldwide.

Our Learning and Engagement Team here at the Walton Arts Center recently created a fun photo project with our very own Runaway Bunny, featured at some Fayetteville landmarks. Next month, our L&E team will host over 2,000 students in Nadine Baum Studios with an opportunity to be the first to preview “Goodnight Moon" and "The Runaway Bunny" prior to a public performance on Sunday, February 21 at 2pm.

Tickets for both the school and public performance are still available, click here for more information! 

Play A pART!

Construction on Walton Arts Center’s new Tyson Entrance

Construction is underway at Walton Arts Center! In April, another phase will be complete and we will re-open Starr Theater with the educational production, Digging Up Arkansas, followed by several other performances in May during the Artosphere: Arkansas Arts & Nature Festival. Following the Art of Wine Festival in June, Walton Arts Center will close its doors for the summer to complete construction in time for a Grand Re-Opening Celebration in November and to kick off our 25th Anniversary Season. Things are getting busy, but we are so excited for what is to come!

Walton Arts Center construction on Starr Theater

This spring, the new Bill & LeAnn Underwood Family Plaza will open and showcase public art in a park-like setting of natural beauty. A hammered copper sculpture water feature will be central to the space, surrounded by engraved, personalized bricks as well as commemorative bricks celebrating artists who have performed on our stage since we opened our doors in 1992. Bricks and pavers from the original building will be reinstalled in the Rose Garden to continue the legacy of our original donors. Newly engraved bricks located in the Underwood Family Plaza will re-affirm our community’s commitment to the arts, paving the way for the next 25 years of great arts and entertainment in Northwest Arkansas.

Personalized Brick and Artist Commemorative Bricks will be installed in the new Bill and LeAnn Underwood Family Plaza

We cannot complete the expansion without the help of our dedicated patrons, like you, and now is the time to act! In order to reserve your inscribed brick to be installed in time for the opening of the new Underwood Family Plaza this spring, we need all commitments by March 15th. Your charitable contribution to the expansion and renovation of Walton Arts Center will memorialize your loved ones for generations to come. What better way to show your support of the arts than by engraving your name at Walton Arts Center? Help us celebrate the new building and 25 years of world class entertainment in Northwest Arkansas by going to our expansion webpage to see the virtual tour and make your fully tax deductible commitment today!

Together, we’re building a better place to live.

To learn more about giving opportunities for the expansion at Walton Arts Center, contact the Development Office at 479.571.2759 or www.waltonartscenter.org/expansion.

Bring Your Shoes to WAC during Kinky Boots!

Together with KINKY BOOTS, we're encouraging local families to bring their new or gently used boots, tennis shoes and sturdy shoes for men, women and children when they come to see KINKY BOOTS on January 19-24. These donations go directly to the local non-profit organization Peace at Home Family Shelter. Peace at Home Family Shelter empowers victims of domestic violence to survive and thrive by nurturing their self-determination and courage; and promotes healthy relationships and communities through education, outreach and advocacy.

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen's shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father's expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory's future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

The Peace at Home Family Shelter was founded in 1977 and was the first shelter in Arkansas to provide shelter and supportive services for survivors of domestic violence. The program started in a small house in Fayetteville and is now providing services in a new Donald W. Reynolds building.

Shoe donations are being accepted in advance of the show at our Box Office located in Nadine Baum Studios and prior to every performance.

KINKY BOOTS starts Tuesday, Jan. 19 and runs through Sunday, Jan. 24! Tickets range from $36 to $78 and are available by calling 479.443.5600 or visiting our website here. For groups of 10 or more, contact the group sales department at 479.571.2719.

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein On Sharing Her Love of Bach

Simone Dinnerstein began studying the piano later in life than most concert pianists. She dropped out of Julliard for a while. And she struggled for recognition. Then she scraped together the funds to record Bach’s Goldberg Variations – and her career took off. The album ranked number one on the U.S. Billboard Classical Music chart its first week out. Three subsequent solo albums also topped the charts. 

Simone Dinnerstein sat down to talk with us about her career and why she’s passionate about sharing her love of Bach...

Bach figures prominently into your repertoire. Why do you find yourself drawn to his work? 

Bach's music combines all of the elements that I feel drawn to in art - intellect, craft and architecture combined with poetry and humanity.

Does your playing of pieces like the Goldberg Variations change from show to show?

Definitely. The overall approach is pretty consistent but the change of instrument and acoustics as well as my own state of being on the night and the feeling from the audience all contribute to the experience being new each time.

Here's a short clip of Simone practicing the Goldberg Variations 16-17:

Does this passion run in your family?

My parents are real role models to me. My father is an amazing artist and I grew up surrounded by his work and visiting museums with him. In fact, one of his most significant paintings, The Fulbright Triptych, is currently on exhibit here at the University! My mother is an early childhood education specialist, completely committed to children and creating the ultimate child-centered learning environments. Both of my parents are idealists and not very practical people!

Who are some of your favorite non-classical artists?

Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake

Who are some of your favorite contemporary composers?

Philip Lasser, George Crumb, Philip Glass

Pick 5 words—that start with the letter ‘d’—to describe your music.

Delicate, Daring, Deep, Decisive, Dreamy

What has been your most exciting performance to date?

It's hard to pick just one, but possibly performing Mozart K467 with the Vienna Symphony at the Weiner Konzerthaus. Playing Mozart there felt unreal.

Whom do you define as a visionary?

I recently read “The Book of Strange New Things,” a novel by Michel Faber.  It was a very powerful book about being human and I would describe his writing as visionary.

What is the best advice that you have been given?

Many years ago, Mitsuko Uchida told me to get out of the practice room and start making money with my music. I think that – other than the real, practical implications of that – she meant to own my interpretations and go out into the world with them.

What do you hope audiences take away from your performances?

I hope that the music opens up something inside, that it makes sense of things in life that only music can approach.

Don't miss Simone Dinnerstein on Friday, Jan. 8 at 8pm. Tickets are only $10! For a chance to meet the artist, join us for the Creative Converstaion with Simone before the show at 7pm as well as the After Party at Cork & Keg immediately following the show with light hors d’oeuvres as well as a speciality cocktail, "Bach to the Future,” and live entertainment provided by Rachel Billingsly.

One lucky ticket holder will WIN a $25 bar tab!