American pianist Simone Dinnerstein chose the unlikely setting of Cuba to tackle two Mozart piano concertos. "In Havana, wherever you walk there is music," she explains of the vibrant city. The resulting Mozart in Havana, a collaboration with the vibrantly youthful Havana Lyceum Orchestra conducted José Antonio Méndez Padrón, exemplifies the way music transcends boundaries.
"I think that we can connect with music from all different places because of our own understanding of the music itself, not about the culture that surrounds it," says Dinnerstein, a repudiation of the longstanding idea that performers from the same location as the composer somehow have a richer understanding of the pieces. To hear the entire conversation with Of Note's Katy Henriksen, stream the mp3 link above.