And if the Music is Good, You Dance!

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New York Philharmonic President & CEO Gary Ginstling (third from right) with the 2024 Lunar New Year Gala Co-Chairs Ling Tian, Angela Chen, Oscar L. Tang, Misook Doolittle, Agnes Hsu-Tang, and Diana Wang at the New York Philharmonic's annual Lunar New Year Concert & Gala.

February 27, 2024. Yesterday was a most beautiful day weather-wise in New York. Lots of sunshine and temps hitting the 50s, as is forecast for the next few days.

T’is that Season for the Music all around us. Last Tuesday evening the New York Philharmonic presented their annual Lunar New Year Concert & Gala welcoming the Year of the Dragon in David Geffen Hall, and honoring philanthropist, entrepreneur, and NY Philharmonic Board Member Misook Doolittle.

The evening’s Gala Co-Chairs were Angela Chen, Misook Doolittle, Oscar L. Tang and H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang, and Ling Tian and Diana Wang, with Honorary Chairs Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Greenberg. Starr International Foundation was the Presenting Sponsor of the Gala.

Arriving Gala guests were invited to walk the red carpet in the Karen and Richard LeFrak Lobby; then proceed upstairs to a cocktail reception on the Leon and Norma Hess Grand Promenade.

The New York Philharmonic performs its annual Lunar New Year concert, conducted by Maestro Long Yu.

Conductor Long Yu led the Orchestra in a program of Asian and Western orchestral music, with soloists Clara-Jumi Kang (violin), Clayton Stephenson and Serena Wang (piano), and special guest narrator Jamie Bernstein.

After the concert, guests returned to the Grand Promenade for a three-course dinner, with tables set with gold damask linens, red and mandarin florals, pillar candles, and East-Asian inspired décor.

The event was designed by OhFleur and Andrew Grant and catered by CxRA.

New York Philharmonic President & CEO Gary Ginstling and Co-Chairman Oscar Tang gave remarks at dinner, honoring Board Member Doolittle, who also spoke. Ginstling and Tang presented Doolittle with a framed triptych of a Lunar New Year Gala Playbill and dinner program signed by the concert’s guest artists.

In total, the Gala raised over $1.2 million for the Philharmonic.

Lunar New Year Gala Co-Chair and NY Phil Board Co-Chairman Oscar L. Tang and President & CEO Gary Ginstling present Gala Honoree Misook Doolittle with her gift: a framed Playbill and dinner program signed by the evening’s guest artists.

Among the attendees: Gary Ginstling, Oscar L. Tang and H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang, Angela Chen, Misook Doolittle, Long Yu, Clara-Jumi Kang, Jamie Bernstein, Clayton Stephenson, Serena Wang, Ambassador Ping Huang and Mme. Zhang Aiping, Barbara Tober, Mary J. Wallach, Karen LeFrak, Peter Kahng, and Maye Musk.

L. to r.: Sun Young Park, Lunar New Year Gala Honoree and Co-Chair Misook Doolittle, and Korean Consul General Euy Whan Kim; Lunar New Year Gala Co-Chair Ling Tian and Maye Musk.
Karen LeFrak and Gary Ginstling.
Symington Smith, Lunar New Year Gala Co-Chair Angela Chen, Lilly Yu, and Joe Hung.
Derek Hu, Malena Zhang, Madam Zhang Aiping, and Ambassador Huang Ping,
L. to r.: Melissa Ko and Priscilla Ahn; Soo Kim and Soohee Jeong.
Guenther E. Greiner, Lisa Cali, and Alan S. MacDonald.
Courtney O’Malley, Dan Wilhelm, Kim Greenberg, Gary Ginstling, Henry Timms, Malin Hultcrantz, and Jeffrey Greenberg.
Lunar New Year Gala Co-Chair Agnes Hsu-Tang, Golnar Khosrowshahi, conductor Long Yu, and Lunar New Year Gala Co-Chair Oscar L. Tang.
Barbara Tober and violin soloist Clara-Jumi Kang.
Vivienne Haase and Christian Lange.
Victoria Mendez, John Carpenter, and Mary J. Wallach.
Clockwise from top left: James Pan, Sophia Deng, Kay Tai, Jackson Tai, Tina Chu, Richard Chu, Susan Kohlmann, Ko-Young Tung, NY Phil violinist Yulia Ziskel, Lan Huang, and Elise Wang.
Xin Zhang, NY Phil Concertmaster Frank Huang, Jessie Ding, and New York City Ballet principal dancer Chun Wai Chan.
Coralie Toevs, Lunar New Year Gala Co-Chair and Honoree Misook Doolittle, and NY Phil Executive Advisor to the President and Board of Directors Deborah Borda.

More at Lincoln Center. Two weeks ago on February 13th,  the New York City Ballet (NYCB) held its Annual Luncheon benefit at Lincoln Center. This luncheon was attended by more than 400 guests and raised more than $700,000 for the Company.

This year’s program, entitled If the Shoe Fits…Dance In It, showcased the significance of shoes at NYCB – from pointe to tap to sneakers – highlighting the important role shoes can play in shaping choreography and a dancer’s artistry.

Dancers Tyler Angle and Miriam Miller with Donya Bommer and Wendy Whelan during NYCB’s 2024 Annual Luncheon program.

NYCB Board Member Donya Archer Bommer moderated the panel discussion and was joined by former NYCB Dancer and School of American Ballet (SAB) Faculty Member Katrina Killian, NYCB Artistic Advisor and Resident Choreographer Justin Peck, and NYCB Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan.

Featuring performance excerpts, demonstrations, interviews, and personal anecdotes, the program offered the audience an intimate sampling of the Company’s vast repertory and further insight into the shoes that are essential to a dancer and a choreographer’s work. 

Emma Von Enck, David Gabriel and Company performing George Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina during NYCBs 2024 Annual Luncheon program.
Donya Bommer (far right) and Katrina Killian with a student from the School of American Ballet during NYCBs 2024 Annual Luncheon program.

In honor of the event’s theme, guests were encouraged to attend wearing their most fabulous shoes. Benefit Chairmen were: LeeAnn Black, Lu Leng Chua, Lauren Duff, Danielle Taubman, and Melissa Vlak

Other Guests included: Kathryn Beal, Franci Blassberg, Kristin Kennedy Clark, Katherine Farley, Fe Fendi, Jill Kargman, Sara LaFleur, Jennifer Lipschultz, Debra Martin Chase, Marie Nugent Head, Jenny Pauslon, Jeff and Liz Peek, Tanya Rivero, Cynthia Rowley, Lesley Stahl, Allyson Tang, Diana Taylor, Barbara Tober, Olivia Tournay Flatto, Faye Wattleton, Caryn Zucker, and the dancers of New York City Ballet

NYCB Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford, with Annual Luncheon Chairs Danielle Taubman, Melissa Vlak, Lauren Duff, Lu Leng Chua, LeeAnn Black, and NYCB Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan. Guests were encouraged to attend wearing their most fabulous shoes!
Ava Grace Ancelin, Bianca Buffamonte, Karen Norris, Jennifer Saenz, and Audrey Ancelin.
Gabriela Skouloudi, Allyson Tang, Olivia Tournay Flatto, and Ronnie Fisher.
L. to r.: Lauren Lovette and Sophie Vlak; NYCB Board Chair Diana Taylor; Robbin Mitchell, Donya Bommer, and Debra Martin Chase.
Justin Peck, Maria Cristina Anzola, and Pauline Reyniak.
Mary Darling, Annabel Darling, Signy Coakley, Kristin Kennedy Clark, and Susie Anderson.
Kristen Elliott, Olga Rei, ​Nick Makhatadze, Jill Kargman, and Vanessa Eastman.

And just last week, Ann Ziff, as Gala Chair for Young Concert Artists, invited friends to meet the YCA Gala Honoree, Damian Woetzel, President of The Juilliard School and Artistic Director of Vail Dance Festival, at the home of Judith Pisar.

This was a gala party in itself, featuring a performance by pianists Emanuel Ax and Zhu Wang.

Mrs. Judith Pisar, Mr. Damian Woetzel, and Mr. Daniel Kellogg.

More than 50 guests, including Eva-Marie and Ray Berry, Deborah Borda, Sarah Solomon, Barbara Tober, and Heather Watts braved the snow last Tuesday night to attend this intimate gathering of some of the most exalted names in classical music and philanthropy. All of this befits Young Concert Artists, as for more than 60 years YCA has invested in extraordinary young musicians to take their careers to the highest level.

Hostess Judith Pisar greeted her guests warmly. In her remarks she cited YCA’s President, Daniel Kellogg, as the only one who could follow in the footsteps of YCA founder Susan Wadsworth.  YCA chairman, Paul Sekhri, spoke briefly, recognized the YCA Board and Gala Co-Chairs, noting that both of the evening’s performers were YCA and Juilliard alum (with Ax now on their faculty). He further praised Dan and Damian, “the custodians of young minds.”

Emanuel Ax performed a movement from Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, and then was joined at the piano by Zhu Wang. Together they performed Mozart’s Sonata for Piano, 4 hands in C major. Zhu Wang concluded the program with Schubert’s Impromptu No. 3 in B-flat Major.

Young Concert Artists’ 63rd Annual Gala will be held on Thursday, April 4th at Jazz at Lincoln Center.  For more information visit www.

Mr. Daniel Kellogg, Mr. Ray Berry, Mrs. Ava Marie Berry, and Mrs. Ilse Melamid.
Mr. Zhu Wang, Mr. Emanuel Ax, and Mr. Damian Woetzel.
Mr. Michael L. Lubin, Ms. Anne-Marie McDermott, Mr. Ray Berry, and Mrs. Ava Marie Berry.
Mr. David Twerdun, Ms. Joanna Ostrem, Mrs. Beatrice Francais, and Mrs. Judith Pisar.
L. to r.: Ms. Deborah Borda and Mrs. Ann Ziff; Mrs. Barbara Tober, Mr. Jonathan Marder, Ms. Isabelle Tsereteli, and Ms. Lola Abigail Koch.
Mrs. Heather Watts, Mrs. Yoko Ax, and Mrs. Cora Cahan.
Mr. Peter Speliopoulos, Mrs Ann Ziff, Mrs. Marlene Herring, and Mrs. Nizza Heyman.
Mr. Robert Turner, Mrs. Sarah Solomon, Mrs. Deborah Borda, and Mrs. Ann Ziff.
L. to r.: Mrs. Marlene Herring, Mrs. Ava Marie Berry, and Mrs. Nicole Salmasi; Mrs. Susan Campbell and Mr. Jeff Campbell.
Mrs. Ann Ziff, Mrs. Barbara Tober, and Mrs. Judith Pisar.
Mrs. Yoko Ax, Mr. Emanuel Ax, Mrs. Judith Pisar, and Mr. Daniel Kellogg.
Mrs. Ann Ziff, Mr. Damian Woetzel, Mr. Emanuel Ax, Mrs. Judith Pisar, Mr. Paul Sekhri, Mrs. Susan Wadsworth, and Mr. Daniel Kellogg.
Mr. Paul Sekhri, Ms. Joanna Ostrem, Mr. David Twerdun, and Ms. Ratna Subrahmanyam.

Photographs by Julie Skarratt, Chris Lee, & Tricia Baron (NY Phil); Patricia Burmicky & Erin Baiano (NYCB)

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