|Last night, Joel Bell and Marife Hernandez held a cocktail reception for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra which will be performing tonight and Saturday and Sunday at Carnegie Hall with Valery Gergiev conducting. Tonight's program will be works by Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy and Modest Mussorgski. The Vienna Philharmonic will also perform next Wednesday at the Artis-Naples Hayes Hall in Naples, Florida; then on Saturday March 5th in Bogota, Colombia at Teatro Mayor, and then the following Tuesday in Sao Paolo, Brazil.|
|This past Tuesday night at the Pierre, the Director's Council of the Museum of the City of New York hosted its annual Winter Ball. This year was the 31st. Mark Gilbertson started it with a group of his friends, the so-called "younger set." And they were "younger," thirty years ago. Many of those who attended, were present at the first one, a modest effort and a new philanthropic venture. Tuesday night's festivities – cocktail reception, dinner dance; black tie – brought out several hundred. It was the biggest crowd yet. The younger set I referred to have been replaced by another younger, younger set, providing a good mix of guests.|
|Gilbertson spoke to the guests after everyone was seated, and introduced all his co-chairs. He has relationships with many of the guests – friends, friends of friends. He's one of the few left in New York social circles who entertains a "crowd" at his annual cocktail parties as well as other events he's associated with. He's arguably compulsive obsessive about seeing that people attend his soirees, often calling them even more than once to re-confirm. It's amusingly annoying because you know it's his game in making a success of the event. And he succeeds.|
|As much as it is a benefit for the Museum of the City of New York, and as much as the Director's Council has raised the public profile of this museum, The Winter Ball is about a party to celebrate its success. So you don't even hear about how much was raised, or even much about what the programs are that it supports, etc. It's strictly a party except for Gilbertson's remarks about who to thank, etc. An NYSD reader in Berlin wrote to us after seeing my brief photo coverage on Wednesday morning's Diary: "For once in a 'bit of while,' totally attractive, well dressed, good looking couples & individuals at one gathering & for a good cause. Bravo!"
Basically, that's the story.
|On Tuesday, February 23, members of the God's Love We Deliver Legacy Society, Golden Heart Society, volunteers and special guests enjoyed a delightful evening of "cocktails and culture" courtesy of Swann Galleries. Author Amy Goldman and photographer Jerry Spagnoli, who collaborated on the beautiful book Heirloom Harvest: Modern Daguerreotypes of Historic Garden Treasures, discussed their work and the daguerreotype process. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were provided by Canard. A wonderful time was had by all.|
|The Budapest Festival Orchestra directed and conducted by legendary Maestro Iván Fischer returned to Carnegie Hall on Thursday, February 18th to celebrate its 20th Anniversary in New York.
Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra Chairman Stephen Benko and Gala Co-Chairs Sylvia Hemingway and Kati Marton welcomed guests including Ambassador Donald Blinken and Mrs. Vera Blinken, Ambassador Ferenc Kumin, Daisy Soros, Peter and Jamee Gregory and Adrienne Vittadini to hear a performance from the orchestra David Allen of The New York Times wrote "might be the best in the world."
|Romanticism dominated the first part of the concert with Weber's overture to his supernatural opera Der Freischütz. Virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin played Liszt's technically daunting Piano Concerto No. 1 and Prokofiev's brilliantly scored, melodic and emotionally compelling Symphony No. 5 — one of the greatest 20th-century symphonies — concluded the program.
Following the performance, guests including George Ledes, Christine Schott-Ledes, R. Couri Hay, Jana Bullock and Stefan Englert headed to the Weill Terrace Room for a Gala dinner and reception catered by Starr Catering Group. During the reception Stephen Benko and Maestro Fischer both made short speeches to thank attendees and the Friends of the Orchestra for their 20 years of support and service.
|Supporters of The Budapest Festival Orchestra include Laszlo and Petra Balassy, Radko Benko, Noreen and Ken Buckfire, Stephen Fuzesi, Jr., George Kellner, David and Julie Tobey, Sylvia Toth and Tim Warner, Chairman Emeritus,
The Budapest Festival Orchestra is one of the international music scene's major success stories, being rated among the top ten orchestras in the world. Its key figure and founder is the legendary Music Director/Conductor Iván Fischer.
|On Saturday, January 30th, the New York Auxiliary of the Blue Ridge School held its 107th consecutive fundraiser for the Blue Ridge School in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Blue and White Ball, which is held the last Saturday of each January, is one of the oldest annual charity events in New York City. The New York Auxiliary of the Blue Ridge School was founded in the early part of the 20th century by southerners in New York City who had made their mark in industry and professions after the conclusion of the Civil War. Education in the South was a very important philanthropic focus for many of them and the New York Auxiliary of Blue Ridge School began in a New York drawing room when friends were invited to learn of a mission project in central Virginia which would become the Blue Ridge School.|
|The Ball on Saturday was Co-Chaired by Miss Katherine Anderson and Miss Ginny Moore. It honored New Yorkers, Mr. and Mrs. George Selden for their thirty-five years of support for the Blue Ridge School through the New York Auxiliary, and also honored Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, Julian Van Winkle III, the proprietor of Pappy Van Winkle bourbons and the third generation of his family to produce bourbon in Kentucky.
The Ball, which was held at a private club on Fifth Avenue, was preceded Friday night bourbon tasting led by Mr. Van Winkle and by a reception for out-of-town guests and the honorees. On Sunday morning, many Ball attendees also shared the hospitality of Ernest and Holly Hunt at a lively Southern-style brunch at their charming home on the Upper East Side. The ball featured dancing and a silent and live auction including two bottles of Pappy Van Winkle that sold for $5,000 a piece.
|Photographs by Patrick McMullan (Budapest & MCNY); Cutty McGill (Blue Ridge).|