Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lots of fresh green festooning

Taking shelter from the rain. 4:00 PM. Photo: JH.
April 27, 2010. Rain and chilly in New York with lots of fresh green festooning along the avenues and the streets. As well as the tulips and the daffodils.

Last night in New York. I went over to Lincoln Center where Juilliard was holding its annual black tie gala benefit, and this year honoring their President Joseph Polisi, marking his 25th anniversary as head of the school.

The evening began in the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre with Renee Fleming, an alumn (’86) who told us about the arrival of Mr. Pelosi, and how he almost immediately changed the policies of the school so that the various divisions who had always been separated from each other (by closed doors) were suddenly getting to know each other.

Elizabeth and Joseph Polisi.
After Ms. Fleming, the evening concert began, featuring work from various divisions. They began with Sirena Huang on violin and Sarina Chang on cello performing Haldel-Halvorsen Passacaglia for Violin and Cello. Misses Huang and Chang, who looked to be no more than 13 or 14, played brilliantly on violin and cello from the Schools historic stringed instrument collection. We later learned they began preparing (and memorizing) only four days ago.

They were followed by the Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson, playing selections from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro -- Sinfonia (Overture) and Scena Ultima (Final Scene) featuring singers from Juilliard Vocal Arts -- Andreas Aroditis, Benjamin Bloomfield, Deanna Breiwick, Daniel Curran, Devon Guthrie, Carla Jablonski, Adrian Rosas, and Emalie Savoy.

This was followed by the World Premiere of new choreography by Adam Hougland – another alumn – “Six for Five” danced to the Brahms String Sextet No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 18 – Andante, featuring students from Juilliard Dance – Stephanie Amurao, Jonathan Campbell, Norbert De La Cruz, Anthony Lomuljo and Kelly Robotham with the Afiara String Quartet with Erik Peterson, viola, Jeremiah Campbell, cello.

Then there were Scene selections from Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Angus Wilson featuring actors from Juilliard Drama – Michael James Shaw, Julia Ogilvie, Adam Farabee; Joaquina Kalukango, Corey Antonio Hawkins; Claire Karpen, Cameron Scoggins and Kerry Warren.

After this we were treated to four bassoonists who marched out on stage playing “The Teddy Bears Picnic” (“If you go down in the woods today…”) which was followed by a brief speech by the honoree.
Yanna Avis. The 15-year-old Juilliard student and piano virtuoso, Conrad Tao. Cynthia Lufkin.
We had already been treated to some video clips of interviews with Mr. Pelosi’s children (grown), and his wife Elizabeth and others testifying to the man’s devotion, not only to Juilliard, but its students and his family. I happened to be sitting next to a man who told me after the speech that he worked for Mr Pelosi whom he said was his “mentor,” and whom he regarded as “a great man.”

The final performance was Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op 30, Finale Alla breve, as played by Conrad Tao on the piano and the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by George Stelluto, conductor. Mr. Tao, who is a very accomplished and self-possessed fifteen-year-old virtuoso, was exceptional beyond brilliant and moved many in the audience to tears with his fresh and impassioned interpretation of what the younger concert pianists refer to as “Rachy 3.”
The table setting with the first course: Green Aspargus Soup with White Aspareus Flan and Five Lettuce Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. After the main course the centerpiece/box as removed revealing ...
Miniature cupcakes served with Straciatella Gelato and Lemon Sorbet.
After the concert, the 600 guests moved over to the tent behind the Metropolitan Opera House. This took some logistics as the rain was coming down, and West 65th west of Broadway is undergoing a lot of construction. Several large buses were waiting to take us from the theater around the corner and one block south to the tent.

Once in the enormous tent, which is used for a lot of Lincoln Center gala dinners, we were treated to Peter Duchin and his orchestra (with the fabulous Roberta Fabiano on the vocal and electric guitar). This was an evening about greatness and hope.

Joseph Polisi is one of those men who has the power and ability to inculcate young talent with both. Watching his student body at work, then hearing and meeting his family, all of whom were present, one had the sense of the world being on the right track.
Richard and Francesca Nye, Tim Wallach, Gordon Pattee, and Kitty Kempner.
Mary Rodgers Guettal and George Steel. Dailey Pattee and Francesca Stanfill Nye.
The Man's family: Ryan and Caroline Polisi, Andrew and Catherine Polisi Jones, Elizabeth Polisi, and Christopher Polisi.
Peter Duchin and his orchestra (Roberta Fabiano in red).
The Party that Launched New York's Latest Newspaper War

Were the New York Times to have a pillow fight with the Wall Street Journal, it would have to contend with blows from black satin cushions emblazoned with the Wall Street Journal's nameplate. The cushions were christened at last night's launch party for the Journal's new Greater New York section, which debuted yesterday morning.

But it was clear from the talk at the party, held last night at Gotham Hall, that the newspaper war waging between the two broadsheets is a fight not of pillows, but of words and mettle.

Mayor Bloomberg, whose trips to Bermuda got big play in the New York Times yesterday, called the Journal's New York effort "groundbreaking" but noted that "It took the paper 120 years to realize the city had a street other than Wall Street." Of course, the mayor had to acknowledge that the company he founded is among the competition. "I love the Journal. It's my second favorite source for business news,” he said.
David Marwell, Mayor David Dinkins, and Fay Ann Lee.
Leonard Lauder with Hilary and Wilbur Ross.
Rupert Murdoch.
The Journal's owner, Rupert Murdoch, spoke plainly. "I want to give New York a fresh robust paper on their city, the country, and the world," Mr. Murdoch said. "New York is the capital of ambition, and it's my firm belief that New York section of the Journal will be a formidable competitor."

Some of city's most formidable competitors in the business world were at the party. So we asked them, what will it take for the Journal's Greater New York staffers to succeed? "You need perseverance, focus, and honesty," said real estate scion Bill Rudin. "Keep on being smart, " said Leonard Lauder of the Estee Lauder cosmetics empire. "I live my life in competition every day and the winner is always the one who is the most innovative and creative. The one who is first to market -- first with the news -- is always the winner." Asked about his own business, Mr. Lauder said, "Tune in for our earnings report tomorrow. I can't say anything more."

Barry Diller's take on competition: "I don't really like it myself, but I like to see others compete."
Mayor Bloomberg, Howard Rubenstein, and Rupert Murdoch.
A prop during Mayor Bloomberg's remarks: A mock-up of what the WSJ would have looked like had Bloomberg bought it.
Lew Leone and Bill Rudin. Carl Weisbrod and Paula Berry.
Journalist Lucinda Franks said seeing a new newspaper in New York is "sensational, given the decline of newspapers all over the world." But she had some suggestions: "more investigative reporting and really good writing, not just formulaic features or hard news, but essayistic writing," she said.

Tom McMahon, former general counsel for the City Council, said his favorite story in the first edition was on the food companies who are hopping on Mayor Bloomberg's campaign to reduce salt intake. "That should have been on A1 - or is it B1?" Mr. McMahon said. (In fact, the section front was numbered A21.)

Reading the new section was not a requirement for getting into the party. New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau (who is at Wachtell Lipton working on immigration law and psychiatric care for Iraq veterans) confessed to not reading the first edition (or any of yesterday's papers) yet.
Marshall Heyman, the section's society editor, with Sara Shenasky, WSJ event maven. Robert Tierney and Christine Taylor.
Ray Kelly and Barry Diller.
But for Journal staffers, working at the party was acceptable. A sports editor asked Police Commissioner Ray Kelly what he thought of the first day's coverage, and got a thumbs up. A politics reporter made sure to chat with New York Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch.

Several staffers, having not had time to eat all day, took advantage of the buffet of New York treats, from pastrami to dumplings to tortellini. And at least one staffer, beer in hand, was getting ready to go back to work: “We have to replate a page by 10.” Let the first skirmishes begin.

Amanda Gordon for NYSD
Amanda Gordon, founding society editor at the New York Sun, is associate editor at ARTnews.
Kevin Delaney and Maya Pope-Chappell. John Seeley, the editor of the WSJ's Greater New York section, with Pia Catton, an arts and leisure reporter for the section (both NY SUN alumni).
Marie-Josee Kravis and Henry Kravis.
First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris with Harriet and George McDonald of the Doe Fund.
Ed Skyler and Tom McMahon. Tim and Nina Zagat.
Kyle Pope, Fr. Jonathan Morris, and Eben Shapiro.
Lucinda Franks and Robert Morgenthau. Julio Franco, with Creative Edge caterers.
On the Greater New York team: general assignment reporter Andrew Grossman, S. Mitra Kalita, senior deputy editor, John Seeley, editor, and Chris Herring, general assignment reporter.
Custom pillows for the event, on Design Within Reach furniture.
Late last week there were two auctions of important jewels at Christie’s and Sotheby’s (see Wendy Moonan’s NYSD coverage). The sales were as spectacular in their prices as the jewels. Here is a sampling of the results ...
Lot 569
From the Collection of Patricia Kluge
Sapphire and Diamond ‘Panthère’ Wristwatch, Cartier, French, Circa 1985
Designed as a panther with an articulated head set with round diamonds, accented by buff-top sapphire segments, the eyes set with pear-shaped emeralds, set atop an invisibly-set sapphire bracelet composed of square-cut sapphires weighing approximately 28.00 carats, bordered by round diamonds, the clasp set with square-cut diamonds, the cat opens to reveal a rectangular dial pave-set with single-cut diamonds, total diamond weight approximately 15.00 carats, manual movement, mounted in platinum and 18 karat white gold, length 6 3/8 inches, caseback signed Cartier
Est. $100/150,000
Sold for $686,500
Lot 581
Property from the Collection of Patricia Kluge
A Pair of Platinum and Diamond Pendant-Earclips Set Throughout with Pear-Shaped Diamonds
Est. $600/800,000
Sold for $1,058,500
Lot 565
Property from a Private Collection
A Magnificent Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Necklace
Set with 42 GIA-certified Fancy Vivid yellow diamonds weighing a total of 100.17 carats
Est. $2/3 million
Sold for $3,554,500
Lot 365
Diamond and Colored Stone Charm Necklace
The 18 karat gold link chain necklace supporting 16 charms, including an explosive device, cross, Yale man, signed Cartier, numbered 2827, cat, hunting dog, mother and child elephant, fleur de lis, tank, heart, man hanging the moon, pheasant, sphinx, house, panda, 5th Army emblem and duck, variously set with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, onyx and enamel, length 16 inches, chain signed King for Arthur King
Est. $18/22,000
Sold for $32,500
Lot 559
Platinum and Diamond Rose Brooch, Circa 1930
Depicting a rose within an openwork frame, set throughout with pear-shaped, old European-cut, single-cut and rose-cut diamonds
Est. $30/50,000
Sold for $98,500
Lot 557
Fancy Intense Pinkish Orange Diamond Ring
The cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut diamond of fancy intense pinkish orange color weighing 7.67 carats, framed and flanked by round diamonds, mounted in platinum and 18 karat pink gold, size 5¾
Est. $2.5/3.5 million
Sold for $3,106,500
Lot 560
Ruby and Diamond Ring
The cushion-shaped ruby weighing 8.66 carats, flanked by single-cut diamonds weighing approximately .12 carat, mounted in platinum, size 8¼
Est. $1/1.5 million
Sold for $2,098,500
Greetings from Round Hill in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Round Hill was founded in 1953 by Liz and John Pringle who wanted to create a place that had luxury, peace and glamour. It has 25 villas which are privately owned but can be rented out when the owners are not in residence.

Some of the original residents were Mrs. Kingman Douglas (Adele Astaire – sister of Fred), Clarence Dillon (of Dillon Read) Momo and Warren Pershing, Fif and Wood McAdoo, Bill and Babe Paley (whose villa is now owned by Ralph and Ricky Lauren, who also own the Clarence Dillon villa) Audrey Zauderer Del Rosario, producer Robert Zemeckis.
The Beach at Round Hill.
The Spa at Round Hill.
The Sunset at Round Hill.
This part of Jamaica has for years been a destination for Hollywood stars, financiers and British aristos, as well as members of the Royal Family including Princess Margaret and Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Among its stellar habitués have been Noel Coward (who also owned one of the first villas), the Duke of Marlborough, his daughter Lady Sarah Churchill, Bob Hope, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, Richard Avedon, Greer Garson, Henry Ford II, Daisy and Paul Soros, Sigourney Weaver, interior designer Michael Smith, Vanessa Noel, Emma Watson.

Some of them today are owned by Veronique and Bob Pittman, Caroline St. George, Nazee and Radford Klotz. Last week Josef Forstmayr, the brilliant young Austrian born director of Round Hill, has made the club once again one of the most exclusive and luxurious places in the Caribbean.
Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia's birthday party on the Terrace at Round Hill.
Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia at her birthday party with her daughter, Catherine Oxenberg and her husband, Cassper Van Diem, and their children, Maya, Grace, and Celeste.
Last week Mr. Forstmayr filled the club with guests like Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, who was celebrating her birthday with her daughter Catherine Oxenberg, her husband Casper Van Diem and their daughters Maya, Grace and Celeste; as well as Caroline St. George, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Sue and Donald Newhouse and their children and grandchildren, Ellen and Sam Newhouse and their family, Dr. and Mrs. Wayne Isom, Courtney Ross, Dalia and Larry Leeds, The Laurens, Ralph’s brother Jerry Lauren, Anne-Marie Tedeschi, Rachel Roy; Swiss watch manufacturer Jorg Bucherer; New York public relations man Jim Mitchell, Lady Rose and Guy Monson, Count and Countess Leopold von Biscmarck.
Catherine Oxenberg Van Diem and her daughters, Maya, Grace, and Celeste.
Ann Chen-Ueker, Catherine Oxenberg, and Cecile Levee. Caroline St. George and Paula Kerr.
Josef Forstmayr, Round Hill's Managing Director, Princess Elizabeth of Yougoslavia, and her nephew, Prince Dimtri of Yugoslavia.
Pat O'Brien, his wife Betsy, and John Lynch (Jamaica Tourist Board).
Steven Ueker, Cecile Levee, and Jorg Boucherer. Maya Dvornik.
Dragan Boabic, Kirstin Rausing, and the Swedish Ambassador to Serbia, and Krister Bringeus.
Patrick and Katrin Casserly. Anetta Mahoney and Brian Reynolds.
Josef Forstmayr, Cecile Levee, and Jorg Boucherer.
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