The Jewish Museum held its 34th Annual Purim Ball at The Pierre on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The annual gala gathered over 500 distinguished guests for a festive dinner in celebration of Purim. This year’s Purim Ball raised $2 million in support of the Museum.
Robert Pruzan, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, and Claudia Gould, the Museum’s Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, welcomed guests. Philanthropist Charles Bronfman introduced Rivka Saker and Artis, honored for their work in supporting contemporary Israeli artists and amplifying their recognition worldwide. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs introduced Rachel Feinstein, honored for her extraordinary artistic achievements, including her exhibition currently on view at the Jewish Museum, Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone.
The Pierre was transformed by David Stark Design and Production into an evening in Monte Carlo with casino games and dancers. Poodles greeted guests as they arrived. Many attendees wore masks, with Rachel Feinstein making her own masks, one “maiden” and one “crone” both painted by her husband, artist John Currin.
Other notable guests in attendance included filmmaker Sofia Coppola and musician Thomas Mars; artists Richard Phillips, Ryan McGinley, Laurie Simmons, Arlene Shechet, Maira Kalman, and Helen Marden; and Purim Ball 2020 Co-Chairs Nomi Ghez and Michael Siegal; Morris W. Offit; Tracey and Robert Pruzan; Susan and Stephen Scherr; and Jane and James Stern.
The After Party, hosted by the Jewish Museum’s Young Patrons group, was well attended with over 500 revelers.
On February 29, 2020 Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the New York Philharmonic gathered at the gorgeous Palm Beach home of the Orchestra’s Co-Chair Peter May and his wife Leni. It was an evening to remember as musicians from the acclaimed New York Philharmonic performed under the stars — a spectacular performance of the Schumann Piano Quartet followed by an encore of I Got Rhythm which George Gershwin began composing in Palm Beach.
The evening celebrated WORKING IN CONCERT, a partnership to reimagine David Geffen Hall — the orchestra’s home at Lincoln Center.
A veritable who’s-who of arts philanthropists enjoyed this stunning event, including Mickey Beyer, Cathleen Black and Thomas Harvey, Tina and Jeff Bolton, New York Philharmonic President Deborah Borda, Rita and Charles Bronfman, J. Brooks and Yann Coatanlem, Ravenel Curry, Lincoln Center Chair Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer, Susan and Richard Friedman, Roy Furman, Jeff Gates and Mike Moran, Marilyn and Willis Goldsmith, Diane and Jay Goldsmith, Cornelia and Ralph Heins, Adriana Herrera, Vicki and Chris Kellogg, Bonnie Lautenberg, Nadine Levy, Annie and Bruce Margulis, Lincoln Center Ehrenkranz Artistic Director Jane Moss, Leni and Robert Newman, Hon. Stephen C. Robinson, Marjorie and Stuart Ross, Kara and Stephen Ross, Fiona and Michael Scharf, Toni and Martin Sosnoff, Kimberly Strauss, Tina and Steve Swartz, Lynne Tarnopol, Lincoln Center President and CEO, Henry Timms, Laurie and Stephen Vogel, and Roy Zuckerberg and Tara Kelleher.
Opera Lafayette celebrated the New York opening of Leonore with a champagne toast on stage for both donors and the cast at The Kaye Playhouse on March 2nd. Board co-chairs Dorsey C. Dunn and Nizam P. Kettaneh raised a glass to toast the remarkable production which the NY Times called “Fresh and sweet.”
Guests included Janet Desforges (Opera Lafayette’s New York Committee member), Oriol Tomas (Stage Director), Dominique Brown, Myron Magnet, and Leonard and Annemarie Ralston.
Beethoven wrote only one opera, known today as Fidelio; Leonore is its earliest version. Opera Lafayette’s orchestra played period instruments and, as is typical of their efforts, offered Beethoven’s music as it was performed in his day.
Musicologist Will Crutchfield, who was charged with reimaging a never-before-heard aria based on surviving texts from Beethoven, was given much deserved praise for his work reconstructing the lost music. The orchestra was conducted by Ryan Brown, the company’s Artistic Director. Soprano Nathalie Paulin, tenor Jean-Michele Richer and soprano Pascale Beaudin received a standing ovation for their performances.
Opera Lafayette will present the first-ever English translation of François-André Danican Philidor’s French opera, The Blacksmith on April 4th at Carousel of Languages. This modern premiere will adapt the story to the late 19th-century American West and integrating American folk songs into the plot where French folk songs were originally sung. Audience participation encouraged.
Photographs by Madison Voelkel & Ryan Kobane/BFA.com (Purim Ball); Mike Jachles/AnnieWatt.com (Lincoln Center); Annie Watt (Opera Lafayette).