Michael Tilson Thomas and Rose Ellen Greene
Alan and Diane Lieberman with Florence and Sheldon Anderson
Martin Margulies, Constance Collins, Howard Herring and Irene Hegedus
Gail Meyers, Padma and Raj Vattikuti and Susana Ibarguen
The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), raised over $1 million for its musician fellowship program on February 8 through its 2014 annual gala, titled “The Art of the Possible.” The event at the New World Center, hosted by gala chairs Jeffrey and Lisa Akin, featured NWS co-founder and artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas, soprano Jessye Norman, and the Fellows of the New World Symphony.
Bacardi, USA; One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects and Mastrojanni were among the generous sponsors of the evening.
Guests arriving at the Center were led to the signature NWS “blue carpet,” where they were photographed at the step-and-repeat before entering the Gehry-designed New World Center for cocktails, courtesy of Bacardi, U.S.A.
After the cocktail reception, guests were treated to a performance inside the concert hall, led by Michael Tilson Thomas, featuring George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture (originally titled “Rumba,” the work was inspired by a vacation Gershwin took in Havana in 1932); Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, narrated by Jessye Norman; Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings; and Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “I’ve Got it Bad (And That Ain’t Good), “Come Sunday” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” As an encore, Ms. Norman, MTT and the Fellows performed Hoe-down from Copland’s Rodeo.
Following the performance, Thierry’s Catering presented guests a feast for the senses: the introductory course, a cylindrical vegetable salad encased in a crystal cloche filled with violet-scented fog. Guests chose the main course: Colorado Rack of Lamb with a thick Dijon mustard crust and rosemary jus, Pan-Seared Filet of Branzino with Crispy Skin over polenta cake with broth of heirloom tomato, or vegetable lasagna with a baguette cureve. Dessert featured a raspberry mascarpone mousse embedded in chocolate dirt with edible pansy, and madeleines and candied orange chips. The event production and décor were beautifully executed by Triton Productions.
During dinner, a trio of NWS Fellows surprised guests with a pop-up performance in each of the three dining areas (the Atrium, SunTrust Pavilion and the Patrons Salon). Also, while guests dined, the concert hall was transformed into a late-night dance club, where 80s cover band Fast Times and DJ Corrado Rizza entertained the Gala attendees and additional 100 members of Friends of NWS late into the night.
Guests in attendance included Sarah Arison, Jon and Nancy Batchelor, Barbara Becker, Adam and Chanin Carlin, Stanley and Gala Cohen, David Edelstein, HRH Princess Firyal of Jordan, NWS Board Chair Rose Ellen Greene and Gerald Greene, Alberto and Susana Ibargüen, Florencia Jimenez-Marcos and Xavier Gonzalez-Sanfeliu, Neisen and Ana Kasdin, Gerald and Jane Katcher, Iran Issa Khan, Alan and Diane Lieberman, Marty Margulies and Constance Collins, William and Jan Morrison, Robert and Dede Moss, Chad and Ilona Oppenheim, Craig Robins, Marvin Ross Friedman and Adrienne bon Haes, Renata Scotto and Lorenzo Anselmi, Edward Manno Shumsky and Susan D. Kronick, Tatiana and Riccardo Silva, Ronni and Andrew Smulian, William Strong, among others.
The New World Symphony also announced the date and theme of next year’s milestone gala: co-founder and artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas’ 70th birthday celebration will take place on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at the New World Center.