It's safe to say that the Goldberg Variations changed Simone Dinnerstein's life.
Here's the story: She took on the task of learning the Variations as a project chosen to accompany the nine months of her pregnancy. She emerged from the experience with a son, Adrian, and a deep connection to the piece of music that she had long admired in Glenn Gould's hands and had now made her own. She self-produced a recording of the work which was remarkable enough to make managers return her calls and to fill her calendar with concert dates. She performed the Goldbergs in her self-presented Weill Hall debut recital, to a full house and the blessing of the New York Times. In 2007, Telarc released her recording of the Goldbergs, and the world took notice.
It's a story, with its mix of DIY determination and fairytale good fortune, that has captured imaginations in musical circles and beyond. But it's Simone's musicianship - deeply personal, sometimes unorthodox, always committed - that resonates with listeners, in concert and on disc.
Simone's concert and recording projects have taken her in many new directions. during these last few years. Her latest CD Something Almost Being Said: Music of Bach and Schubert, was released on Sony Classical in January. But I asked her to go back with me to the Goldberg Variations and all the beginnings they represent in her life, musical and otherwise: