MUSIC is in the air

Featured image
Spring is coming. Cleopatra's Needle, Central Park. Photo: JH.

Friday, February 24, 2023. The snowstorm coming from across the continent is still snowing all the way to Maine — but noticeably missing New York City with nary a flake to behold. Aside from the weather in the world we cover, there’s MUSIC in the air for everyone to enjoy. The following will give you an idea of what’s been playing for us and what’s coming up soon musically.

On this past Wednesday evening, Paul Sekhri, chairman of Young Concert Artists (YCA) board of directors, invited just 25 guests to Annaliese Soros’ home to officially kick-off YCA’s 62nd Annual Gala Benefit, which will feature performances by YCA alumni Carter Brey, Jeremy Denk, Karen Gomyo, George Li, Anne-Marie McDermott, and current YCA artists Steven Banks, Joseph Parrish and Nina Shekhar.

Deborah Borda, Linda and Mitch Hart President and CEO, New York Philharmonic, was the guest of honor as she will be honored at the upcoming gala. Everyone knows about Deborah in the classical music world as she has created a powerful future for young musicians by building up two incredible organizations (New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic) and amplifying the voices of emerging musicians — all while empowering the future of classical music.

YCA Chairman Paul Sekhri, Deborah Borda, President and CEO, The New York Philharmonic, and YCA President, Daniel Kellogg.

The intimate evening featured a short concert by Emanuel Ax and violinist and YCA artist Lun Li. Li brilliantly played Enescu’s “the Fiddler” and Schubert/Ernst “Der Erlkonig”on a recently acquired Stradivarius instrument. As Ax made his way to the piano, he waxed warmly and generously about how 50 years ago Young Concert Artists was vital to starting his career. He reminisced that he had “known Deborah Borda almost as long as Young Concert Artists.” “We both love pianists and the (NY) Giants!” Borda added. He then (beautifully and majestically) performed two Schubert pieces (also Liszt transcriptions).

Daniel Kellogg, YCA President, greeted guests who included some of their esteemed Gala Co-Chairs including Oscar Tang, and Barbara Tober as well as YCA board members Beatrice Francais, Linda and Paul Gridley, Judith Pisar, Judith Schlosser, Anthony DiResta, as well as musical patrons Carole Bailey French and John French III, Ilse Melamid, Joanna Fisher, Danielle Rossi and Jeffrey Hirsch, and Shining Sung.

Annaliese Soros, Paul Sekhri, and Daniel Kellogg.

In short, YCA identifies extraordinary young musicians, providing them with the support, professional engagements, training, mentorship, special projects, educational residencies, introductions to the field and an array of professional services they need to lead the future of classical music.

For 62 years YCA has discovered and launched the careers of extraordinary musicians including Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Murray Perahia, Richard Goode, Pinchas Zukerman, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Julia Bullock, Randall Goosby and Dawn Upshaw.

Emanuel Ax and Beatrice Francais, Chair, Executive Committee.
Deborah Borda and Lun Li, 2022 YCA Susan Wadsworth International Auditions First Prize Winner.

In Deborah’s words: “For 62 years, Young Concert Artists has enriched the musical world by creating contexts in which gifted young musicians can develop their art. YCA has helped cultivate the careers of so many of today’s leading performers, including members of the New York Philharmonic, and its impact will only grow with Paul Sekhri’s arrival as a visionary new Chair.”

Young Concert Artists 62nd Annual Gala Benefit Evening on Monday, May 8, 2023, is at Jazz at Lincoln Center. For more information visit

You don’t want to miss this one.

Judith Pisar, Deborah Borda, Paul Sekhri, and Susan Wadsworth.
John French III and Oscar L. Tang.
L. to r.: Mike Lubin and Tony DiResta; Angela Chen.
Kathy Sloan.
Michael Ambler, Paul Gridley (both YCA board members), and Marsha Ambler.
Paul Sekhri, with Carole and John French III.

And this past Sunday down in Palm Beach, you guessed it, French Heritage Society hosted their annual Palm Beach Gala Dinner at Club Colette. This sold-out affair featured Mardi Gras flair as guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and dancing courtesy of DJ Brett. The warm and festive evening is always a wonderful kick-off to FHS’s fundraising activities for the year.

The unforgettable fête was held at the behest of Gala Chairmen Jean Doyen de Montaillou and Michael Kovner and in the presence of Cultural Counselor and Director of Villa Albertine Gaëtan Bruel. Dinner Chairmen included CeCe and Lee Black, Gail Fisher, Kamie Lightburn, Liz McDermott Barnes, Frank Morgan and Brent Feigenbaum, Arnold and Joe Pacetti, Nancy Place, Jean and Martin Shafiroff, Thomas Warren Thaler and Kelly Williams and Andrew Forsyth.

Jean Doyen de Montaillou, CeCe Black, and Michael Kovner.

Guests included Board Chairman Elizabeth F. Stribling, Executive Director Jennifer Herlein, and Board Members Ronald Lee Fleming, Judy McLaren, Juan Pablo Molyneux and Ann Van Ness. Also attending: Christine and Max Ansbacher, Charles and Kitty Berry, Friederike Biggs, Laurie Bodor, Geoffrey N. Bradfield, Sharon Bush and Robert Murray, Bonnie Comley and Stuart F. Lane, Paul Danello, C. Randolph Fishburn and Andrew Sands, Kenneth Fishel and Lady Maria Fishel, Anne Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth and Walter Foster, II, Penny Grant, Charles and Kaaren Hale, Carol Hall, Mai Hallingby Harrison, Lou Rena Hammond, Linda and Chad Hickox, Peter and Linda Hoffman, Bruce Horten, Muriel Jerome-O’Keeffe, Helen King, Paul and Ursula Lowerre, Cheryl McKee, Vicky McLoughlin, Patrick Murphy, Chips and Sarah Page, Natalie Pray, Guy Robinson, Danielle Rollins and Tom D’Agostino, Thomas and Patricia Shiah, Rebekah Stewart, Suzanne Stoll, Nancy Stone, Lynn and Pascale Franchot Tone, Nancy Traylor, Bill Van Ness, Mark Walter, and Jean and Donald Wolf.

Gaetan Buhl, Elizabeth Stribling, and Juan Pablo Molyneux.

Proceeds from the Palm Beach Gala Dinner benefit French Heritage Society’s mission to ensure that the treasures of our shared French architectural and cultural heritage survive to inspire future generations.

Wait, there’s more. Upcoming FHS celebrations include The 6th Annual French Heritage Society Book Award on April 12th in New York; The Diner des Mécènes honoring Pierre-Antoine Gatier on May 16th in Paris; The Chairman’s Circle Trip: The Patrimoine of the Riviera from Nice to Ventimiglia from May 19th-June 4th; and the New York Gala on November 16th in New York. Waouh!

FHS raises funds to support the preservation of culturally and historically significant French architecture in France and the U.S. To date, FHS has awarded nearly $14 million in grants to over 650 châteaux, historic properties and gardens. FHS also creates special funds for emergency restoration efforts, which have provided critical support following the fire at Notre-Dame in Paris and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

CeCe Black, Frederica Biggs, and Nancy Traylor.
Jean Shafiroff, Liz McDermott, and Ann Van Ness.
Bonnie Comley and Stewart Lane.
L. to r.: Juan Pablo Molyneux and Mai Hallingby Harrison; Peter and Linda Hoffman.
Robyn Joseph, Kitty Berry, and Charlie Berry.
Lou Hammon, Andrew Sands, Poppy Paulos, and Pam Gates.
L. to r.: Natalie Pray and Geoffrey Bradfield; Paul and Ursula Lowerre.
Charles and Kaaren Hale.
Lynn and Franchot Tone.
Jennifer Herlein and Suzanne Stoll.
Patrick Murphy and Daisy Soros.
Robyn Joseph, Susan Cushing, Kamie Lightburn, and Holidae Hayes.

And back in little ole New York, The 62nd Annual Quadrille Ball, a white tie charity event, one of the annual highlights of the New York ball season, was held at 583 Park.

The annual Ball is a fundraiser for scholarships awarded to highly qualified American and German undergraduate and graduate students including PhD candidates. The Quadrille was founded more than 60 years ago to enhance and strengthen transatlantic relationships through education. Through its non-profit parent organization, the Germanistic Society of America, Inc., the Quadrille supports undergraduate, Master and PhD students.

Quadrille Dancers.

Performance of the Quadrille Dance.

Recipients are chosen with the cooperation of three highly regarded organizations: Columbia University, the International Institute of Education, and the Fulbright Commission. The graduate students have successfully concluded the Fulbright scholarship application process before being chosen by the Quadrille. Over the years, the Quadrille Scholarship Fund has supported some 700 students from the US and Germany.

The Quadrille Ball itself takes its name from a dance popular in the 18th Century, called “Quadrille.” It is a formal dance in square formation. The Quadrille dance is rehearsed and performed by young professionals who are volunteer their time on the recommendation of alumni, patrons, and friends.

Sara Aros and Guest of Honor Dr. Steven E. Sokol.

In addition, every year a highly regarded representative of the business or transatlantic community is invited to serve as Guest of Honor. This year Dr. Steven E. Sokol, President of the American Council on Germany, followed in the footsteps of other Guests of Honor including Dr. Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee of Deutsche Bank; Bernard Meyer, Managing Partner of Meyer Werft GmbH; Dr. Brigitte Mohn, Member of the Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann AG and Member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann Foundation; Prof. Dr. Andreas Barner, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Boehringer Ingelheim; Martina Hund-Mejean, CFO of Mastercard; and – most recently Mr. Uffe Ostergaard, President, Hapag-Lloyd (America) LLC.

Raban Freiherr von Arnim and Allison Ecung.

Notable attendees at the Quadrille Ball included, Dr. Steven E. SokolRaban Freiherr von ArnimAllison Ecung Freifrau von Arnim, the Consul General of the Republic of Germany, David Gill and his wife Sheila Shrivastava and the Consul General of the Republic of Austria, Helene Steinhäusl and her husband Hubert HeissAndrea Ostheimer, Executive Director, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, New York, Dr. Barbara Elling, President, Germanistic Society of America.

Among the sponsors of the Quadrille Ball were: The Mejean Family Foundation (Full Scholarship Sponsor), Max Kade Foundation, Inc., The Bye Family, Dr. William Radin (Platinum Sponsors), The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Shiva (Diamond Sponsors).

For more information visit:

Annie Watt (French Heritage); Milestone Images (Quadrille).

Recent Posts