This week: Claire Messud and French literature, Brenda Goodman, NYCB and NY Phil for the whole family & more from the world of culture.
“Claire Messud Discusses Camus, Proust, and Flaubert” at Albertine (February 26): Claire Messud’s 2006 novel The Emperor’s Childrenmanaged a rare feat in treating the horrors of September 11 without striking a maudlin note. Messud has continued to impress, winning both major literary prizes and a loyal readership. Next Tuesday she will speak at Albertine about the French authors who have influenced her most; Bénédicte de Montlaur, the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States, will moderate. —BR
“Brenda Goodman: In a Lighter Place” at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. (through February 23): If you want to see vital abstract painting, be sure to catch the final days of Brenda Goodman’s current exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea. Goodman conjures up dreamscapes that are epic in form and yet personal in detail, with wrinkle-like lines etched into her surreal oils on panel. The suite of intimate works on paper that introduces the exhibition reveals a painter who is at the peak of her powers at any scale. —JP
“Simone Dinnerstein,” at National Sawdust (February 24): Philip Glass wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3 (2017) for the Brooklyn-based pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who spent last year recording and performing the concerto and other Glass works. Since her self-produced recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in 2007, Dinnerstein has been building her reputation as an insightful and inventive interpreter of both canonical and recent piano music. On Sunday at National Sawdust in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Dinnerstein will pair Glass the minimalist with Franz Schubert the Romantic in a concert that looks for a continuity in piano repertoire “Now and Then,” as the title of the National Sawdust series (run by the composer Patrick Zimmerli) puts it. Since its opening in 2015, “New York’s hottest new-music venue” has tended to favor the trendy over the timeless, and so Dinnerstein’s program is notable for the way it aims to establish harmony between the old and the new. —HN
“A Timeless Tale: The Sleeping Beauty,” Family Saturday at the New York City Ballet (February 23) and “Very Young People’s Concerts: ‘Allegro and Adagio’ ” at the New York Philharmonic, Merkin Hall (February 24): This weekend features a family doubleheader with great music and performances for all ages. On Saturday at 11 a.m., the New York City Ballet will awaken a child’s interest in ballet with an hour-long look at The Sleeping Beauty, with music by Tchaikovsky and choreography by Peter Martins, in a presentation for children five and older. Then, on Sunday at 12:30 and 3 p.m., and again on Monday at 10:30 a.m., the New York Philharmonic will inaugurate its fourteenth season of Very Young People’s Concerts at Merkin Hall with “Allegro and Adagio” for ages three to six, with performances of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours” from La Gioconda, and Sullivan’s “Tit-Willow” from The Mikado and “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” from The Pirates of Penzance.—JP
From the archive: “At the Cafe Mirabell,” by Thornton Wilder (February 2012). An unpublished essay by the playwright and novelist.
From the current issue:“Feel the Burne,” by Dominic Green. On “Edward Burne-Jones” at Tate Britain.
Broadcast:“Finding Franklin,” by Marc M. Arkin (audio article). On the making of an American enigma, occasioned by a new biography of his early life.