Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Rain. And drizzle.

Raining down on Central Park. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Rain. And drizzle. And rain and drizzle with chilly temps in New York.

The June Quest is on the stands with Byrdie Bell in a fashion shoot on an estate in Greenwich, Connecticut on the cover,  photographed by Julie Skarratt. Byrdie, who’s become a California blonde, living out there by the sand and the sea, has returned East for her role in Bravo TV’s “Odd Mom Out” the original 10-episode half-hour comedy which premieres next Monday (June 8th) starring Jill Kargman playing a fictional version of herself in the Upper East Side neighborhood of glamorous Mommie-dom.

Yesterday I went down to Michael’s to lunch with concert pianist Bruce Levingston. Michael’s was jumping. Tom Brokaw was lunching with Bob Kerrey; Liz Smith was lunching with Mickey Ateyeh and Vanessa Bronfman, an NYU-Tisch grad and budding actress, and cousin Dana Bronfman, a jewelry designer with a company of her own, focusing on designs emanating from architectural and geometric lines.

At the table next to them Joe Armstrong was lunching with Quest’s publisher Chris Meigher who with the missus heads out to Greece today for a week aboard a friend’s yacht with several other New Yorkers. Across the way from them Liliana Cavendish, Diandra Douglas, Kimberly Rockefeller and Patty Hearst-Shaw were celebrating the birthday of Muffie Potter-Aston. On investigation, I learned from the horse’s mouth that Muffie’s birthday is on July 6th, not yesterday. Asked why they were celebrating now, I was told it was because none of them will be around town in July. Checking further, I learned that besides Muffie being born under the sign of Cancer, Diandra is an Aries (4/16), Patty is a Pisces (2/20 – same day as Gloria Vanderbilt), Liliana is earlier in Feb, and Kimberly is a Virgo. So this was one of those un-birthday birthday parties, no doubt.

At the table next to me and Bruce was Paul Gunther who was recently appointed Executive Director of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy.
DPC and Bruce Levingston at Michael's.
Bruce Levingston and I have known each other for years but like a lot of New York friendships where there is so much activity in people’s lives, we can go for a year or more without meeting up. In the time since our last meeting, Bruce moved from his apartment in the fabled Chelsea Hotel (which is undergoing a total renovation) to a condo in Park Slope – overlooking the park. He now divides his time between New York and his family home in Mississippi as well as touring. He recently returned from a tour in Italy performing with his friends Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo, both international stars of the ballet world.
Bruce Levingston standing on the stage of Teatro Regia in Parma, Italy, the location of his recent piano concert.
He also recently released his fifth solo CD, Heavy Sleep, which received raves by critic Corinna da Fonseca Wollheim the New York Times recently, and I quote:

"Death and rebirth are the themes of this deeply personal, exquisite album. The pianist Bruce Levingston brings heart-wrenching vulnerability and tenderness to a series of preludes, fugues and fantasies by Bach that form the spiritual nucleus of the CD. Layered around them are Bach arrangements by Reger, Siloti and Gyorgy Kurtag that offer dreamlike glimpses of the master’s music and allow Mr. Levingston to draw on his extraordinarily nuanced palette of pianissimos."

This coming Sunday Bruce will perform a special concert in honor of the 100th birthday of David Rockefeller and in celebration of the Centennial of the  Union Church of Pocantico Hills which was  founded in 1915  by David's father John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

When John D., Jr. died in 1960, his children, led by son David, commissioned artist Marc Chagall to design the Good Samaritan stained-glass window in his honor. Subsequently, Chagall designed an exquisite series of smaller windows which fill the church and which memorialize past members of the Rockefeller family. 

Upon the death of Mr. Rockefeller's wife Abby in 1948, their son Nelson Rockefeller commissioned Henri Matisse to design the church's beautiful rose window in honor of her memory shortly before the artist's own death in 1954.
The Good Samaritan, stained glass window in the church by Marc Chagall, commissioned by David Rockefeller in honor of his father John D. Rockefeller Jr.
In honor of David Rockefeller's birthday and the celebration of the Union Church's Centennial, Bruce commissioned a new work of music entitled "Windows " which depicts in sound each of the Matisse and Chagall windows. The work was composed by the acclaimed composer James Matheson.

The two movements of the work will receive premieres this coming Sunday, June 7th, and will be repeated in another concert on June 9th, on the grounds of Kykuit, the Rockefeller family estate in Pocoanto Hills.  The entire work will receive its world premiere at Carnegie Hall next season in 2016. 
Stained glass window designed by Marc Chagall.
Catching up. Last Wednesday evening at the New-York Historical Society on 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, Diana and Joe DiMenna, Lise and Michael Evans, and Mary Kathryn and Alex Navab hosted a private cocktail reception and dinner celebrating the new permanent home of Pablo Picasso’s theater curtain for Serge Diaghilev’s 1919 Ballets Russes production Le Tricorne.
Le Tricorne, enjoying its new home at New-York Historical Society.
The show positions Picasso's curtain in a dialogue with other N-YHS objects, including paintings from the European tradition. Other thematic threads pivot around dance subjects and explore roughly contemporary American paintings, sculpture, posters, and watercolors.
Donated by the New York Landmarks Conservancy to the New-York Historical Society, the 20-foot square curtain was previously displayed for the past 55 years like a tapestry in the corridor connecting the two dining rooms of the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram’s Building on Park Avenue and 52nd Street. 

Among the guests attending that evening were Gabrielle Bacon, Alex Von Bidder, Marjorie and Josh Harris, Tania Higgins, Donna Karan, Alexia and David Leuschen, Wynton Marsalis, Louise Mirrer, Tiffany and Claus Moller, Lisa Rinehart, Alexia Hamm Ryan and Baird Ryan, Dana and Scott Schiff, Tracy and Jay Snyder.
Diana DiMenna.
Paul McCaffrey, Caroline McCaffrey, and Joe DiMenna. David Levinson and Alex von Bidder.
Joe DiMenna, Diana DiMenna, Tiffany Moller, Claus Moller, Mary Kathryn Navab, and Alex Navab.
Betsy Pitts and Alexia Hamm Ryan. Jay Snyder, Tracy Snyder, and Alex von Bidder.
Louise Mirrer, Lisa Rinehart, Diana DiMenna, and Kate Levin.
Michael Bassett, Dana Schiff, and Darren Henault. Scott Schiff and Wynton Marsalis.
Sharon Jacob, Donna Karan, Lise Evans, Alexia Leuschen, Betsy Pitts, and Roberta Olson.
Marjorie Harris, Donna Karan, and Lise Evans. Louise Mirrer, Pam Schafler, and Nathalie Kaplan.
Eduardo Vilaro, Kate Lear, Lisa Rinehart, and Pauline Golbin Reyniak.
Simone Levinson, Tracy Snyder, and Gabrielle Bacon. Yesim Philip and Lise Evans.
François-Xavier de Mallmann and Natasha de Mallmann.