Luncheons, Lectures, and Lang Lang

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The scene at Wethersfield Estate & Garden at their second annual luncheon.

Last Sunday, Wethersfield Estate & Garden hosted their second Garden Luncheon. Co-Chairs Karen Klopp and Jennifer Oken welcomed over 350 of guests to the formal gardens for music and champaign before adjourning to a tent for lunch. Many guests came sporting hats, including milliner Patricia Underwood.

Jennifer Oken, Marion de Vogel, and Karen Klopp.

Tara Shafer, Wethersfield’s Executive Director and a granddaughter of its founder, alongside Bernadette Murry, a Trustee and leader of the Friends of Wethersfield, offered a warm welcome and thanks to all who helped make the day a success.

Marion de Vogel was honored with the Spirit of Wethersfield award, for her tireless devotion and upholding the founder, Chauncey Stillman‘s, legacy of protecting land, conserving beauty, and supporting culture and arts.

Alex Farman-Farmaian spoke warmly of de Vogel’s accomplishments; standing near a young Linden he shared, “Chauncy Stillman embraced a tradition of planting a tree to mark special occasions such as the birth of each grandchild … rather than a silver tray, this tree represents today’s award.”

Marion de Vogel followed by saying, “I stand before you as a humble honoree … I fell in love with Wethersfield fourteen years ago … on the back of a horse.  My very dear friends Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henkels brought me here.” She spoke with passion and erudition of best practices for protection of the natural world through conservation.

This year’s luncheon was the largest in the charity’s history. Guests included Barbara Tober, John and Karen Klopp with Meghan Klopp, Erik and Jennifer Oken, Karen Bechtel, and Will Osborne, Christopher Spitzmiller and Anthony Bellamo, William Benedict, Daniele Bodini, Farnham and Anne Collins, Tara Shafer and Gavin Curran, Clare de Boer and Luke Sherwin, Alexander, Ligon, and Willem De Vogel, Edith Dicconson, Patricia and Alex Farmaian, Deban and James Flexner, Monica Gerard-Sharpe and  Ali E. Wambold, Claire Glover, Richard Hass, Nancy Hathaway, Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels, Edwina and James Hunt, strike here – Fernanda Kellog, Carolina Kim, Peter and Jill Kraus, Pam Howard and Wynn Laferty, Morgan and Westy LeConey, Chris Mann and his beautiful daughters, Timothy and Elizabeth Mayhew, Susan Mercandetti, Kelly A. Morgan, Steven and Deanna Mulligan, Bernadette and Bran Raskovic,  Connie and Tom Newberry, Peter Pennoyer and Katie Ridder, Candace Platt, Terry Regan, Alexander and Sarah Saint-Amand, Bryant and Rebecca Seamann, Joseph Singer, Dorothy Sprague and Bill Benedict, David and Sarah Stack, Stanley and Whit Stillman, Jim and Zibby Tozer, and many more.

L. to r.: David Thieringer, Barbara Tober, and Willem de Vogel; Meghan Klopp and Deanna Mulligan.

Next year’s Garden Luncheon honoree is Barbara Tober.  It will be held on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023.

Nestled in 1000 acres of rolling hills of rural New York State, Wethersfield Estate and Garden provides visitors, visionaries, artists, and residents an opportunity to reflect on the importance of natural and classical artistic beauty as a crucial means of human expression for our times.  Wethersfield Founder Chauncey Devereux Stillman (1907–1989) first experienced the beauty of Dutchess County as an equestrian. (The role of equestrian sport remains central to Wethersfield, which incorporates more than 20 miles of trails in and around the property for public enjoyment.) In 1937, realizing the potential of the land, Stillman purchased two abandoned farms, and Wethersfield was born — based upon premises as timely then as they are today.

Michael Bassett, Alex Farman-Farmaian, Karen Klopp, Darren Henault, and Dave Dase.
L. to r.: Greg Grimes and Michele Gerber Klein; Nancy Hathaway and Laureen Knutsen.
L. to r.: Jane Keltner de Valle, Meghan Klopp, and Bettina Prentice; Patricia Underwood.
Michelle Schwadron, Ashley Mitchell, Carolina Kim, Joyann Michael, and Chrissy McCurdy.
L. to r.: Lily and Andrea Venezia; Larry and Lorna Graev.
John and Karen Klopp.

A couple weeks earlier, the East Hampton Historical Society invited landscape architect Thomas L. Woltz to be a guest speaker at their sixth annual Summer Lecture Luncheon, held at Maidstone Club overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

A full-house was enthralled as Mr. Woltz presented Dynamic Preservation Through Landscape Design. Through several case studies, Mr. Woltz illustrated how a historically-based design approach can breathe new life into historic sites and cultural landscapes, revealing lost, forgotten and hidden narratives embedded in the land.

Thomas Woltz.
Marc Porter (1)

Marc Porter, Chairman of Christie’s Americas and sponsor of the event, moderated a Question-and-Answer session following the talk.

Luncheon guests.

Distinguished guests included Tom Samet and Nathan Wold, David Netto, Scott Sanders, Marshall Watson, Debbie Druker (EHHS Event Chair), Mike Clifford (President of the Board of Trustees, EHHS), Hilary Osborn-Malecki (EHHS Board VP), Kate Brodsky, Kate Davis, Somers Farkas, Suzanne Johnson, Cheri Mowrey, Serena Boardman, Susan Dunlevy and Sharon Jacobs.

The Summer Lecture Luncheon was presented by Wilmington Trust, and made possible in part by the generous support of Christie’s, ELLE Décor, and Oscar de la Renta. Proceeds from the program will benefit the Historical Society’s partnerships with local schools as well as the preservation of its world-class artifact collection.

Barbara Ostrom, Marshall Watson, and Tom Samet.
Carrie Barratt and Thomas Woltz.
Beverly Kazickas, Sandy McManus, and Danila Fiore.
Henry Druker and Olivia Druker.
David Netto.
Hilary Osborn Mallecki, Jan Willem van Bergen Henegouwen, and Dianne Benson.
Caryn Zucker and  Scott Sanders.
Lisa McCarthy and Suzanne Johnson.
Mary Kate Murray, Marc Porter, Neda Whitney, Bonnie Brennan, and Lizzie Roswig.
Michael Patrick and Carol Sedwick.
Suzanne Rheinstein, Carolyn Brody, and Duane Hampton.
Patricia Schuster and Victoria Gray.
Tyler Horn, Geoffrey Nimmer, and Dianne Benson.
Thomas Woltz, Debbie Druker, and Tom Samet.

Lang Lang International Music Foundation Board member and Chairman, Christopher Burch opened his Watermill, New York residence to guests for cocktails and to enjoy the Lang Lang Young Scholars Concert on Saturday, August 27th. The night was a beautiful celebration of music.

The two Young Scholars, Eden Chen and Maxim Lando, performed brilliantly for their captive audience. After the libations, guests were entertained with their concert performances; the foundation’s Young Scholars program nurtured the development of these gifted young piano talents. Maxim played classics like Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven (his own arrangement), and Tchaikovsky/Pletnev’s Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker. Eden performed the piano version of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. Together, they played John Phillip Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Maxim Lando, Leszek Barwinski-Brown, and Eden Chen

CEO Lukas Barwinski-Brown opened the evening by thanking Burch for opening his home to everyone. He went on to announce that “if you truly want to be blown away,” the upcoming Lang Lang & Friends Gala Concert and Dinner happening on September 21, will do just that. The gala will be held at the Cipriani restaurant located at 25 Broadway. Lang Lang and his wife Gina Alice will be joined onstage by the star of Disney’s Encanto, Mauro Castillo, Alec Baldwin, and 20 Young Scholars. To reserve tables and tickets to this event, contact Ms. Mary Keating at or call 212-518-7175.

Guests included the Board Members David Hryck and Kyle Wool, as well as Debbie Bancroft, Janna Bullock with her dog, Cricket and Richard Burns, Candace Bushnell, Lord William and Liliana Cavendish, Luane de Lesseps, Max Dolgicer, Patricia Duff, Lee Fryd, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Carole Guest, Andrea Karambelas, Ellie Manko, Liane Pei, Mary Snow, Sophia Tang, Peter Thomas Roth, and Ryan Thomas Roth.

Founded in 2008, The Lang Lang International Music Foundation® strives to make music a part of every child’s life, offering music education to children across the world. The Foundation reaches children at all levels regardless of their background or talent level. The Keys of Inspiration® program redefines what music education looks like in public schools by providing up to 30 Roland keyboards and a complete music curriculum to underfunded schools. The Foundation’s Young Scholars program nurtures the development of gifted young piano talent. Young Scholars are offered masterclasses, mentorship, and entry into international festivals and competitions. Young Scholars also received practical training on becoming world-class concert pianists.

L. to r.: Andrew and Charlotte Pilaro; Elizabeth Reid and Rebecca Woodland.
Kyle Wool, Soo Wool, and Jay Yu.
L. to r.: Tracey and Liane Thatcher; Kim and John Perell.
Jeanne Sdroulas, Liane Pei, Ellie Manko, Andrea Karambelas, and Susan Cushing.
L. to r.: Jill Stuart; Mary Snow; Paige Boller; Nancy Pearson.
Janna Bullock with Sebastian, Zoya Kuznetsova, and Katia Brody with Olivia.
L. to r.: Vicky Lee and Leszek Barwinski-Brown; Amanda and Rob Holmén.

Photographs by Patrick McMullan (Wethersfield); Richard Lewin (Lang Lang & East Hampton Historical Society)

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