|Carnegie Hall’s season-long 125th anniversary celebration reached its pinnacle last Thursday May 5—exactly 125 years to the day since the Hall first opened its doors in 1891. The celebration included an all-star performance by many of the world’s most beloved artists, both Carnegie Hall artist trustees and longtime friends, including appearances by Martina Arroyo, Marilyn Horne, pianist Emanuel Ax, singer/pianist Michael Feinstein, soprano Renée Fleming, pianist Lang Lang, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and singer/songwriter James Taylor. Principal Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado leads the Orchestra of St. Luke’s—which has been presented by Carnegie Hall since 1986. The performance also features the Oratorio Society of New York (Kent Tritle, Music Director), an ensemble long associated with Carnegie Hall since its opening in 1891.|
|The performance included a wide range of music saluting the Hall’s illustrious history with a mix of solo, chamber, and choral works, along with solo and ensemble selections from opera, classical song, musical theater and contemporary popular song. The program featured an array of works from Handel to Dvorak, to Richard Strauss, George Gershwin, James Taylor and many more. Many of the artists also serve on Carnegie Hall’s board as Artist Trustees.|
|Mercedes Bass was the Gala Lead Chairman for the evening which benefited Carnegie Hall’s artistic and music education programs. The event’s Gala Chairmen Committee includes the Blavatnik Family Foundation; Annette de la Renta; Susan and Ed Forst; Fred Iseman; JJR Foundation; Robert Kraft; Jenny and John Paulson; Sana Sabbagh; Beatrice Santo Domingo; Mrs. Henry T. Segerstrom; David Siegel and Dana Matsushita; Hope and Robert F. Smith; Sir Martin and Lady Cristiana Sorrell; S. Donald Sussman; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill.
Bank of America and South Coast Plaza were Gala Sponsors. LVMH was the Gala Dinner Sponsor. The gala included a black-tie dinner-dance at the Waldorf Astoria with the artists following the concert.
|Last Monday night, over in the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza, the Fashion Institute of Technology and the FIT Foundation hosted their annual gala honoring Dennis Basso, John and Laura Pomerantz and QVC.
The evening benefited the FIT Educational Development Fund, which helps FIT cultivate the next generation of creative leaders through enhancing programs, developing new initiatives, and providing scholarship funds to the college’s most promising students.
|FIT president Dr. Joyce Brown presented Dennis Basso with the Designer of the Year Award; Bill Dillard and Abbey Doneger presented John and Laura Pomerantz with the Patrons of the Year Award; and Jill Martin presented the Retailer of the Year Award to QVC (President and CEO Mike George accepted the award).
Among those attending: Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Paris Hilton, their brother Barron Hilton, Hilary Rhoda and Sean Avery, Ivana Trump, Carol Alt, June Ambrose, Karl Wellner Deborah Norville, Liz Peek, Amsale Aberra and Adrienne Vittadini.
|The New York City Mission Society hosted its annual Champions for Children Gala at the Mandarin Oriental. They honored Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) Founder and Artistic Director and multiple Grammy Award winner Arturo O’Farrill with their Visionary Partner Award.
The benefit supported the Mission Society’s programs and services that help youth and families in our city’s most underserved communities break the cycle of poverty and achieve success. Former New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. introduced Medgar Evers College/CUNY President Rudolph F. Crew, who previously served as New York City Schools Chancellor, delivered the keynote address at the event.
|The evening was chaired by Jean Shafiroff. This year’s Gala committee included: Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller, Colbert Narcisse, and Katrina and Don Peebles as Honorary Chairs; Peggy and John Bader, Missy Kilroy and John Moorhead, Leah and Stan Rumbough, and, Yemi and Patrick Vatel (Committee Members); and, Brooke Laing (Auction Chair).
WABC-TV’s Bill Ritter was emcee, and the Fat Afro Latin Cats performed during the evening.
|The New York City Mission Society has been on the frontlines of the war on poverty for more than 200 years. Today, their progressive portfolio of educational, restorative justice, cultural enrichment, and workforce development programs make a positive, long-term impact on youth in the City’s most underserved communities by promoting academic achievement, combating violence, and providing career opportunities. Each year, they serve more than 18,000 children and families throughout New York City with our programs, supportive services, and community events. Learn more at http://www.nycmissionsociety.org.|
|Last Wednesday night, Alexandra Lebenthal and Jay Diamond and Amy and Ken Pollinger hosted a kick-off reception at the Pollinger's home for the upcoming 13th
Annual Beach Ball benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area. The theme of the upcoming benefit will be “Art of Summer,” with live and silent auctions will be held on June 18th at the Pollinger’s Bayfront home.
|The Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area has been operating since 1965 as the Bellport Area Community Action Committee Inc. (B.A.C.A.C.) and affiliated with BGCA in 1996. The Club serves more than 850 members, between the ages of 5-19, and many other youth through various annual activities. Members are young people from disadvantaged economic, social and family circumstances; nearly three-quarters of annual household incomes are $19,000 or less.
Its mission is to inspire and enable all young people especially those who need us the most in the Bellport Area and increasingly from the South Shore to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
|In 2012, they completed a 28,000 square-foot state-of-the art facility in North Bellport which includes teen & junior game rooms, teen & junior learning centers, computer lab, teaching kitchen, library, dance room, recording studio, gym and community room/theater. Historically, the North Bellport neighborhood is a high-need area that has suffered chronic indications of community disorganization, poverty, crime and drug abuse, gang violence, academic failure and high dropout rates.
All proceeds from the Beach Ball contribute to the operating expenses of the Boys & Girls Clubhouse and ensure that over 850 children, ages 5 through 19 have a safe place to learn, grow and most importantly, feel a sense of belonging and community.
|Photographs by Patrick McMullan|