Composer Philip Lasser.

(Photo: YouTube)
The Boulder Philharmonic gives the second performance ever of a new piano concerto by American composer Philip Lasser this weekend.

In town to perform it is the much admired and wonderfully thoughtful pianist Simone Dinnerstein, whose approach to the keyboard works of J.S. Bach have generated quite a lot of praise over the last decade.

What brings a pianist like Dinnerstein and a contemporary composer like Lasser together in the first place? We'll find out when the pair stop by CPR prior to the performance in Boulder on Saturday, but the fact is: Dinnerstein and Lasser have worked together before.

One example is this traditional Korean folksong arranged by Lasser for Dinnerstein's 2013 tour of South Korea:

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein

(Photo: Courtesy of Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)
Another example, and where these friends first collaborated on record, is found on Dinnerstein's "Berlin Concert" recital album, a set of 12 variations on a chorale from J.S. Bach's Cantata 101, "Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott (Take from us, Lord, Though Faithful God)."

As Dinnerstein said then, Lasser "draws on Bach's more intense and meditative side" — an obvious appeal for a musician like Dinnerstein who is herself drawn to Bach's "strange beauty."

Hear this work and others by Philip Lasser in this Spotify playlist. It requires a Spotify account, which is free for Facebook users.

Check back for interview and performance clips from Lasser and Dinnerstein on air and at CPRClassical.org on Friday and Saturday.