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Gala Co-Chairs Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, Didi and Oscar Schafer, Harold Mitchell AC, Peter and Leni May, Marikjke and Lodewijk de Vink at the New York Philharmonic's Opening Gala: New York, Meet Jaap.

Last Thursday night at New York City’s Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic welcomed its new Music Director, Jaap van Zweden, at the Opening Gala: New York, Meet Jaap. The concert featured the World Premiere of Ashley Fure’s Filament, commissioned by the Philharmonic for the occasion; Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring; and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major with Daniil Trifonov as soloist.

The evening began with a cocktail reception on the Grand Promenade of David Geffen Hall. Guests mingled as trays of champagne and hors d’ouevres were passed. Following the concert, Gala attendees returned to a transformed Grand Promenade, decorated with white floral arrangements with purple accents and lavish table settings lit by candlelight. Jaap van Zweden entered the room to applause as the nearly 600 guests toasted to new beginnings. The event raised more than $3 million for the beloved New York cultural institution. Throughout the evening the Empire State Building was lit in the New York Philharmonic’s signature red for the occasion.


Music Director Jaap van Zweden conducting the New York Philharmonic and Constellation Chor
Music Director Jaap van Zweden conducting the New York Philharmonic
Daniil Trifonov performing with Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic
The Constellation Chor performing Filament by Ashley Fure

Guests included: Alec and Hilaria Baldwin; Patricia Clarkson; Lesley Stahl; Larry Gilliard Jr.; Jamie Bernstein; Music Director Jaap van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje; President and CEO Deborah Borda and Coralie Toevs; Daniil Trifonov; Itzhak Perlman; Charles and Ann Johnson; Richard and Karen LeFrak; Daisy Soros; John Corigliano and Mark Adamo; Ashley Fure; Rebekah Heller; Chuck and Carol Schaefer; Bruce and Kathryn Beal; and Elizabeth and Frank Newman.

Gala Co-Chairs: Marijke and Lodewijk de Vink, Leni and Peter May, Harold Mitchell AC, Didi and Oscar Schafer, Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar L. Tang
Underwriters: BNY Mellon, Elizabeth and Frank Newman, Daria L. and Eric J. Wallach

Citi. Preferred Card of the New York Philharmonic.
Emirates is the Official Airline of the New York Philharmonic.


L to R.: Gala Co-Chairs Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar L. Tang; Nadia Taylor and Harold Mitchell AC
L to R.: Karen and Richard LeFrak; Gala Co-Chairs Peter and Leni May
L to R.: Joel and Joan Picket; Ashley Fure and Rebekah Heller
L to R.: Mary Wallach; Music Director Jaap van Zweden and Aaltje van Zweden
L to R.: Patricia Clarkson; Alec and Hilaria Baldwin
L to R.: Marieje de Wild Propitius-van Buuren, Aaltje van Zweden, and Therese de Haan; Marijke and Loedewijk de Vink
L to R.: Kathryn and Bruce Beal; NY Philharmonic Chairman Oscar Schafer and Didi Schafer
Aaltje van Zweden, Music Director Jaap van Zweden, Jamie Bernstein, Long Yu, and Shirley Young
Alec Baldwin, Chairman Oscar Schafer, President and CEO Deborah Borda, Paul Polman, and Music Director Jaap van Zweden
L to R.: Chuck and Carol Schaefer; Daria and Eric Wallach
Chairman Oscar Schafer, President and CEO Deborah Borda, and Music Director Jaap van Zweden backstage
Laura Chang, Music Director Jaap van Zweden and Aaltje van Zweden pose with musicians from the Philharmonic
Lesley Stahl, President & CEO Deborah Borda, and Alec Baldwin
Music Director Jaap van Zweden with Elizabeth and Frank Newman
President and CEO Deborah Borda, Itzhak Perlman, and Peter May
Susan Rose, Daniil Trifonov and Judith Ramirez
Decor by Van Vliet & Trap

Susan Sarandon and Danny Abeckaser were honored this past Monday night at together1heart’s inaugural New York Gala at TAO Downtown. The evening supported together1heart’s continued work to end slavery and to support women’s rights globally.

It was a moving evening with every speaker receiving a standing ovation. Bill Livermore, Executive Director of together1heart, cited a figure of 22 million girls currently held in sex slavery worldwide and the emergence of significantly younger women being sold into Cambodian brothel’s. “Somaly Mam recently rescued a child of only 22 months,” he said.



Sina Vann, herself a survivor of sex slavery, and now a staff member of together1heart, described the horrific conditions she was kept in against her will, and the joy she now experiences working with survivors. Actor, writer, and producer Danny Abeckaser received the “Voices for Change” award for his generous support of both the organization and for the chairman, actress AnnaLynne McCord. Said McCord, “This organization changed my life, gave me a sense of worth, and an understating of what one person can do. When you show up for children you change the world. I want to applaud everyone who showed up tonight.”

Susan Sarandon and Somaly Mam together on stage made an indelible impression. Said Susan, “In this time when you can be disheartened and distraught, look instead at how many women are finding their voices and how many men are standing beside them. Love is a powerful force and we are all privileged to be part of the love Somaly Mam brings to a difficult story. Look at what Somaly has done, what one person can do. She invited me to meet the young women and girls in her program. What I met were strong women. You don’t forget the past but you can move forward”. Said Somaly on closing, “Susan, I love you very much”.


Exec. director Bill Livermore
L to R.: Jenn Lyon and Judy Gold conduct the live auction; Susan Sarandon

Guests included: Carol Alt, Adrianna Beer, Andrea Cataneo, Yuliya Dan, Ezequiel de la Rosa, Victor DeSosa, Claude Hildenbrand, Arielle Jacobs, Jenn Lyon, Jennifer MacFarlane, Ty-ron Mayes, Samira Panah, Jean Shafiroff, and Chris Talbot. 

together1heart works to care for and secure the rights of young women and girls who are victims, or at risk of being victims, of slavery, and to successfully recover, educate, train and reintegrate them into mainstream society through financial independence in a sustainable and innovative manner. They accomplish this by helping and teaching them how to achieve financial independence through sustainable careers. together1heart welcomes them to become a part of our survivor empowerment network.


Sina Vann (L) and Somaly Mam (R) present the award to Susan Sarandon (C)
Yuliya Dan, Somaly Mam, Sina Vann, and AnnaLynne McCord
L to R.: Susan Sarandon, AnnaLynne McCord, and Danny Abeckaser; Snow Dollkinson and Carol Alt
Snow Dollkinson, Ez De La Rosa, and Carol Alt
L to R.: Claude Hildenbrand and Jason Zumberg; Teddy Spanos and Ty-Ron Mayes
Noelle Demole, Somaly Mam, and Claude Hildenbrand
L to R.: Jean Shafiroff and Victor de Souza; Arielle Jacobs
Danny Abeckaser, Bo Dietl, and Eytan Sugarman

On September 15th, the National Down Syndrome Society held its 24th annual New York City Buddy Walk, raising funds for advocacy of the 38% of Americans whose lives have been touched by someone with Down syndrome. This event focuses on celebrating and promoting the abilities of the Down syndrome community. After the walk in Central Park, lunch was served at the Down syndrome achievement center GiGi’s Playhouse NYC. Everyone enjoyed Harlem BBQ and it was a great finish for a fun-filled day!


Laura Lyle joining the MC Chris Ragge and gang to kick off the Buddy Walk 2018
Andrew Lyle and the A Team

The Autism Speaks event was centered in South Seaport – hundreds of walkers advocate and take action for the diverse needs of the autism community. Their efforts generate funds that fuel innovative research discoveries and make connections to the critical life-long supports and services vital to this community. As the walk ended participants found their way back to the Industry-Kitchen Restaurant for lunch.


Frank Sawyer, Debbie Morris and her daughter Sofia carrying the team banner
Jeffry Kallen, Dede McMahon, and Ryan McMahon
Cicely Forde with Eldon and Walter Evelyn
Jeffry Kallen, Dede McMahon, and Ryan McMahon
Laura Lyle, Debbie Morris, Sofia Morris, Mikaila, Karen Hara, Emery Brown, and Laura Brown
Lucy Nixon and Ari Beriguete
Tracy Nixon, Hakan Ergulec, Laura Lyle, and Lee Shoulders
Arnold Lewis, Louise Contino, Lucy Nixon, and Scott Gutterman
Logan Rosado, Sheri Nixon, Solange, Andrew Lyle, Matthew and Andrea Nixon, Janee Morales, Benjamin, and Coralyn Rosado
Peter and Angelique Fisher with Joyce Mackay

Photographs by Julie Skarratt, Linsley Lindekens, & Chris Lee, Mike Coppola for Getty (Ny Phil); Annie Watt (Buddy Walk); Stephen Smith/Guest of a Guest (together1heart)

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