Last Saturday at Tanglewood, The Boston Symphony Orchestra held their big Tanglewood Gala dinner and concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein in Lenox, Massachusetts.
The evening was well attended by the many friends and fans of the man who was known to all of his friends and acquaintances as “Lennie,” a highly-likeable, friendly, intensely charming and talented man who made his mark on the American culture of the 20th century with his affectionate genius.
Among those attending were his children, Alexander, Jamie, and Nina, as well as artists and colleagues who worked closely with Mr. Bernstein. Daughter Jamie Bernstein has recently published a memoir about life with father. I haven’t read it yet but several people have loved it, and recommended it for its charm, audacious honesty as well as affection for the great man who was her father.
The concert, which was entitled Bernstein Centennial Summer—Celebrating Lenny at Tanglewood! raised $600,000 for the BSO. Saturday was actually Bernstein’s actual 100th birthday, August 25. It was the culmination of a year-long worldwide celebration of the centennial of his birth — a tribute to his legacy as a consummate artistic figure of the 20th century and his incomparable contribution to the Tanglewood festival for 50 years. From 1940 to 1990, this towering musical figure worked at Tanglewood with concerts of his enormous contributions as composer for orchestra, for Broadway, and for film; as well as a brilliant programmer and maestro of the world’s great orchestras.
The season-long celebration was recorded by Great Performances for an exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere December 28 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).
He was also a prolific and innovative educator through with his widely popular Young People’s Concerts and lectures. Leonard Bernstein’s close relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra spanned a half-century, from the time he became a protégé of legendary BSO conductor and Tanglewood founder Serge Koussevitzky as a member of the first Tanglewood Music Center class in 1940, until the final concerts he ever conducted with the BSO and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1990.
The landmark concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra was joined by members of the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. All are ensembles that were important to him and his career.
The orchestra was conducted by five conductors from the BSO family and Bernstein extended family tree: BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor Laureate John Williams, San Francisco Symphony Music Director — a close Bernstein associate — Michael Tilson Thomas; and National Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate Christoph Eschenbach. Audra McDonald was host – as well as performer. She was joined onstage by guest artists Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Kian Soltani, Nadine Sierra, Susan Graham, Isabel Leonard, Thomas Hampson, Jessica Vosk, and Tony Yazbeck, with James Darrah serving as director, and Joshua Bergasse serving as choreographer. It was fantastic.
This special Bernstein Centennial Gala Party which followed sold out more than two months before the event. The color scheme of the evening was red, black, and white, picking up on the contrasting shades of Bernstein’s performance life, reflecting his black tuxedo and white shirt, as well as the red silk interior of the black cape he wore so often—a gift from his most important mentor, Serge Koussevitzky.
Also, this past Saturday in the Hamptons, the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) hosted the 19th Annual Gala in the Hamptons at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill during the 14th Annual Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tennis Tournament weekend, which raised $4 million. Founder Michael Milken and the Gala in the Hamptons weekend hosts and sponsors welcomed guests to enjoy, engage and be entertained while helping to fund groundbreaking discoveries in cancer research. This year’s entertainment was provided by Grammy® award winning musician John Fogerty.
Every year, the Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tennis Tournament raises awareness of prostate cancer and supports the foundation’s efforts to eradicate the disease that strikes one in nine American men. Over the past 14 years, the tennis tournament has raised $29 million to fund the PCF’s scientific research, while providing amateur players an invaluable experience playing alongside well-known tennis professionals. PCF Tennis Director Anthony Boulle welcomed legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri to the stage to reflect on his remarkable career training Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Boris Becker and more.
In a speech paying tribute to the late Senator John McCain, who recently passed from an aggressive form of brain cancer–glioblastoma — Michael Milken expressed the importance of raising money to fund cancer research. The Prostate Cancer Foundation has made it possible to identify drivers behind various types of cancers outside of prostate. Specializing in early stage research, PCF has also advanced brain, bladder, lung and breast cancer research.
PCF’s President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jonathan W. Simons touched on the progress made through their life-changing research. For instance, the chances of dying and suffering of prostate cancer has reduced dramatically by 50%. The PCF Young Investigators program has identified an impactful group of future research leaders who will bring new ideas that will move the field of prostate cancer research forward. Since its inception in 2008, the Young Investigators Award recipients have researched 10 FDA approved treatments. Longtime supporter of PCF, CEO Mitch Modell of Modell Sporting Goods, shared that his connection to the grave disease stems from the battle a family member endured. Modell donated $101,055 in support of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
The 2018 Pro-Am Invitational weekend began on Friday, August 24th with a dinner reception hosted at the private estate of Marc Leder. The first three rounds of the tennis tournament took place on Saturday morning, August 25th, 2018 on the private courts of Bill Ackman, Michael & Margie Loeb, Josh & Marjorie Harris, John & Jenny Paulson, Jane Lauder & Kevin Warsh, George Walker, Tom & Ann Tenenbaum Lee and Leon & Debra Black.
Prior to Saturday’s cocktail reception, Michael and Margie Loeb hosted a luncheon at their Southampton, NY estate in celebration of the Gala in the Hamptons. The Shinnecock Tennis Club provided the tournament site for the final rounds of the pro-am matches on Sunday. The round robin tournament, played over two days, pairs 32 amateur tennis players with a current or former member of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which includes many of the top ranked doubles players or a tennis legend.
The 14th Annual Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tennis Tournament champions included Mark Ein with Fabrice Martinin in Group 1, Chris Oberbeck with Alex Bogomolov in Group 2, Amy Griffin with Jared Palmer in Group 3 and Bob Hogan with Graydon Oliver in Group 4.
The 2018 tennis professionals included: Treat Huey, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Scott Lipsky, Daniel Nestor, Alex Bogomolov Jr., Don Johnson, Cyril Saulnier, Robert Kendrick, Vince Spadea, Scott Davis, Graydon Oliver, Jared Palmer, Rick Leach, Amer Delic, Santiago Gonzalez, John Lloyd, Jason Pinsky, Chris Haggard, Wayne Ferreira, Georgy Chukhleb, Luke Jensen and Ashley Fisher.
Weekend hosts and sponsors of the 2018 Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tournament & Gala in the Hamptons include: Michael and Lori Milken, Bill Ackman, Steve and Alexandra Cohen, Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, Larry Gagosian and Chrissie Erpf, Joshua and Marjorie Harris, Jane Lauder and Kevin Warsh, Tom and Ann Tenenbaum Lee, Marc Leder, Richard and Karen LeFrak, Michael and Margie Loeb, William and Phyllis Mack, Richard Merkin, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Glenn and Jennifer Myles, Joel Pashcow, John and Jenny Paulson, Artie Rabin, Cliff and Barbara Sobel, Igor Tulchinsky and Valentina Pavlenko, George and Nancy Walke and Whispering Angel Wines.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation, founded in 1993, is dedicated to discovering groundbreaking cancer research programs thanks to the steadfast commitment from the organization, research scientists and supporters.
Photographs by Michael Blanchard, Chris Lee & Hilary Scott (National Focus); Patrick McMullan & Rob Rich (PCF)