|Saturday, August 2nd saw a special anniversary for The Perlman Music Program (PMP). Toby and Itzhak Perlman celebrated their exceptional music school’s 20th anniversary at the Program’s annual summer gala in an evening marked by generosity, artistry, and friendship. The event was graciously hosted by Annette and Ian Cumming at their beautiful East Hampton home and co-chaired by PMP Board President Morgan Stark and Sidney Stark. Despite a soggy start to the day, the weather brightened just in time for a festive reception on the lawn overlooking the water.
|After cocktails, guests were treated to a concert by the Perlmans’ phenomenal young students: 39 classical string musicians aged 12-18, representing 9 countries and 13 states, all in residence for the summer on PMP’s Shelter Island campus. After an anniversary film tribute created by alumna Bella Markham, the PMP Chorus took the stage. Comprised of students, fellows, community members, and faculty – Toby and Itzhak Perlman among them – and led by inimitable Maestro Patrick Romano, the singers took guests on a musical journey through Bach, Rossini, Morley and Elgar. Faculty member Catherine Cho and surprise guest Itzhak Perlman lent their artistry to “The Snow”, Elgar’s haunting masterpiece for chorus and two solo violins.|
|Students hastened backstage after singing to retrieve their instruments, and the superlative PMP String Orchestra unleashed its musical powers for the delighted audience. Maestro Itzhak Perlman conducted a sparkling program of Respighi, Copland, and Elgar’s “Introduction and Allegro” for orchestra and string quartet. The acclaimed Ariel String Quartet, comprised of accomplished PMP alums Amit Even-Tov, Gershon Gerchikov, Jan Grüning and Alexandra Kazovsky, returned to the PMP stage to do the honors with a masterful performance.
After the concert, guests enjoyed dinner in a beautiful peaked tent, with delicious food courtesy of Debbie Gephert Catering, floral decor by Beth of Amagansett, and fabulous wine from the Cummings’ own vineyards, Pine Ridge and Archery Summit. A silent auction inspired some friendly competition among the guests, with offerings from the Bayberry Nursery, Café Boulud Palm Beach, The Frick Collection, Kamalame Cay, the Maidstone, Palm Beach Yacht Club, Stowe Mountain Resort – and even a few select vintages from the Maestro Perlman’s wine cellar!
|PMP Board President Morgan Stark recognized the entire PMP board of directors in attendance: Randall Blank, Jay Dweck,Vicki Kellogg, Mark Miller, and Laura Sloate, and thanked Ian and Annette for their extraordinary generosity to the Program. Thanks to all the supportive guests in attendance, the evening raised over $500,000 to support PMP’s mission to educate and support the next generation of classical musicians.
During dessert, guests were treated to the sweet sounds of PMP’s doo-wop quartet, a fun summer tradition. Associate Director Merry Peckham and fellow Tim Bontje joined Itzhak Perlman and Patrick Romano, with support from faculty Cathy Cho on violin and Rachel Calin on double bass. Students joined in for a rousing finish, capped off by a surprise tribute for Toby and Itzhak to commemorate 20 years of their extraordinary stewardship of classical music’s future.
|The evening’s guests - numbering over 250 - and generous contributors included lead supporters Arlene and Alan Alda, Gabrielle and Louis Bacon, Alec Baldwin, M. Elaine Crocker, Marjorie Fisher, Barbara Gladstone, Mei Sze and Jeff Greene, Cornelia and Ralph Heins, Eleanora and Michael Kennedy, Chiara and Jamie Mai, Ernst A. Nijkerk, Pamela and Edward Pantzer, and Carol and Lawrence Saper. AIG (American Insurance Group), Bridgehampton National Bank, Capital One Bank, The Cowen Group, Miller Environmental, and Racanelli Construction Co. generously provided vital corporate support and partnership.|
|On Saturday, August 9th Le Bal Français was presented by the Preservation Society of Newport County of Rhode Island. The event took place at the Marble House, in Newport, Rhode Island. Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. It was a summer house, or "cottage", as Newporters called them in remembrance of the modest houses of the early 19th century. But Marble House was much more; it was a social and architectural landmark that set the pace for Newport's subsequent transformation from a quiet summer colony of wooden houses to the legendary resort of opulent stone palaces.
Le Bal Français began with a cocktail reception held on the terrace and the gardens below. Dinner was served in an elaborately decorated tented enclosure and dessert and dancing followed. The black-tie event drew almost 600 guests.
|The Children's Justice Campaign launched their inaugural benefit in the Hamptons this past weekend at the Water Mill residence of George and Joan Hornig. Kelly Rutherford and Patrice Lenowitz, founders of the CJC, shared hosting duties with Christie Brinkley, Lauren London, Mashonda Tifrere and Samantha Yanks.
|The Childrens Justice Campaign is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising social consciousness as to the breadth and scope of iniquities committed against innocent children by the U.S. family court system. Through a massive media campaign, the CJC seeks to educate the general public about the health and safety risks to children exposed to current family court practices, using statistics, scientific research, and victim testimony. Their mission is to inspire fellow Americans to take action, demanding transparency and accountability within the courts, and ultimately creating new standards of practice that will honor the needs of a child by making their physical and emotional wellbeing the top priority in divorce and custody litigation.
|For four years now Kelly Rutherford has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with her ex-husband over custody of their children. Kelly spoke to the guests about her struggle and how she is trying to stay strong for the children. "I have to do my best to stay positive. I’m doing my best to keep my kids healthy through this, and that’s what I focus on every day."
For more information visit Childrensjusticecampaign.org
|On Tuesday, August 12th, the First Annual “Shop for a Smile – Top of the Block Party” benefiting Operation Smile was held on Madison Avenue from 80th to 86th Streets. It was a charming, bear-filled afternoon of shopping for a cause. Patrons and shoppers celebrated summer with in-store fun at participating retailers: Agnes B, Alexis Bittar, Elaine Turner, Halston Heritage, James Perse Los Angeles, Kimara Ahnert Makeup and Skincare Studio, LeSportsac, Letarte Swimwear, Madura, Maje, Premier Cru Wine Merchants, Ristorante Morini and Vosges Haut Chocolat. Summer Smile Receptions were hosted by Operation Smile Committee Members – Alisyn Camerota, Lisa Lori, Robin Meltzer, and Anne Sylvester.
"The Three Bears" took over Madison Avenue and were seen in every window and throughout the interiors of the 13 participating businesses. Purchasing one bear for $240 buys a smile operation for a child, and hands them a bear of their own going into the operation. In addition, each business donated 15% of sales that day.
|Operation Smile, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of more than 5,400 medical volunteers from over 80 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. To build long-term self-sufficiency in resource poor environments, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their local communities. Operation Smile also donates medical equipment, supplies and provides year-round medical treatment through its worldwide centers.|
|Photographs by Susan Scovill (Le Bal Français); Lisa Tamburini (Children's Justice Campaign); Annie Watt & David Dupuy (PMP).|