About Neighborhood Classics
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein founded the Neighborhood Classics series in 2009 at P.S. 321, the school that her son attended and where her husband teaches. Neighborhood Classics builds relationships at a local level between neighborhoods and musicians.
These one-hour, family-friendly performances, which are hosted by Simone and feature musicians she has admired and collaborated with during her career, are open to the public and raise funds for the school. The musicians performing donate their time and talent to the program, and the concerts are organized and administered by parent volunteers and faculty members.
In addition to evening concerts, Neighborhood Classics stages all-school happenings – including a "Bach Invasion" and a "Renaissance Revolution" – which immerse the school in music, with dozens of musicians performing in all of the school’s classrooms throughout the day.
“This concert series is about bringing communities together around music,” Simone explains. “It is a way for students, parents, teachers, and neighbors to gather in a familiar and comfortable setting to listen to great music.” All of the performances take place in the evenings and on weekends, so that families may attend together. Proceeds benefit the school’s PTA, which helps to fund art, chess, band, and chorus programs.
Since 2009, the following top-tier musicians have been presented by Neighborhood Classics: pianist Simone Dinnerstein, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, cellist Maya Beiser, pianist Pablo Ziegler, cellist Zuill Bailey, pianist Valentina Lisitsa, harpist Bridget Kibbey, violinist Maria Bachmann, cellist Wendy Sutter, Face the Music (a teenage new music group), lutist Paul O’Dette, cellist Clive Greensmith, Cypress String Quartet, Chiara String Quartet, and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME). The program has been profiled by Time Out New York, New York Daily News, CUNY-TV's Nueva York, Early Music America, and more.