The Gift of Music and MAD About Jewelry

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Countertenor Iestyn Davies performing with Orchestra of St. Luke’s for gala guests.

On Monday, April 29, 2024, music resonated from The Pierre Ballroom as Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) hosted their annual Gift of Music Gala celebrating a year of tremendous accomplishment: setting new box office records throughout the season, the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s 10th anniversary, and a thriving DiMenna Center for Classical Music.

The gala honored OSL’s Board Chair of 25 years, Norman S. Benzaquen, and multi-GRAMMY- award winner and frequent OSL collaborator, pianist Emanuel Ax. Proceeds of the gala supports OSL’s citywide artistic, education, and community initiatives.

OSL Board Member and host David Hyde Pierce.

The black-tie evening began with a cocktail hour, followed by speeches sharing the artistic visions and accomplishments of OSL from board member and Emmy-award winner David Hyde Pierce, host; and James Roe, OSL’s President & Executive Director. The Gift of Music Awards were presented by Judy Zankel to Emanuel Ax, and by OSL Board Member Robert Fribourg, and his wife Effie Fribourg, to Norman Benzaquen.

Maestro Nicholas McGegan led a performance featuring countertenor Iestyn Davies and pianist Zhu Wang. Attendees were invited to join in a time-honored OSL tradition of waltzing.

Norman Benzaquen, Honoree (seated), Marina Schlanger, Nathaniel Benzaquen, Stephanie Levey, and David Benzaquen.
Judy Zankel (center), with members of the Zankel Family: Harun Zankel, Nina Glucksman, James Zankel, Susan Zankel, Judy Zankel, Kenneth Zankel, Pia Zankel, Anna Zankel, and Mark Zankel.
Stacy Schiff and Kim Duckett Coaxum.
Emanuel Ax, Honoree, and OSL Board Member Susan Graham (standing), Melissa Ngan, Ed Yim, and James Gandre (seated).
Pianist Zhu Wang in performance with the Orchestra.
Jim Roe, OSL President and Executive Director, and Norman Benzaquen, Honoree.
Jane Waterman, Nancy and Morris Offit, and Kate and Brad Peck.
Tatiana Chavarria, Christine Marz, Andrea Green, Ed DeSanto, Alicia Rocco, and Amanda Casey.
Dr. Steven Mann, His Excellency Nuncio Gabrielle Caccia, OSL Board Member Josie Natori, Linda Lagdameo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo.
OSL Board Member Robert Fribourg and his wife Effie Fribourg, Gala co-chairs.

In celebration of the Museum of Arts and Design’s (MAD) annual artisan jewelry exhibition and sale, MAD About Jewelry, a luncheon and talk was hosted by Barbara Tober, MAD’s Chair Emerita, with arts and jewelry expert Tiffany Dubin, and MAD Associate Curator Barbara Paris Gifford.

“Tim and I are happy you are here,” said Barbara Tober standing alongside MAD Director, Tim Rodgers. “MAD is a place of joy. It is a place of ideas, a place of breaking the rules.” The discussion  engaged with handpicked examples of artworks, exploring topics such as the usage of unconventional materials and shapes, and jewelry as a form of expression. “It’s not about precious stones. It’s not about platinum or gold,” said Tiffany, “It’s about alternative materials, found objects — they tell stories.”

Pat Cleveland, Paul Van Ravenstein, Barbara Paris Gifford, Barbara Tober, Tiffany Dubin, and Phillip Bloch.
Tim Rodgers, Barbara Tober, Michele Cohen; Raymond Egbo, Olivia Taylor
L. to r.: Tim Rodgers, Barbara Tober, and Michele Cohen; Raymond Egbo and Olivia Taylor.

Following the luncheon, guests were led to the MAD About Jewelry pop-up, which featured the works of 50 jewelers and artists, all from 20 different countries, both on display and for sale. Barbara Paris Gifford noted “Our collection includes artists who experiment with the boundaries of jewelry.”

Guests included Roberta Amon, Jeffrey Banks, Phillip Bloch, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Pat Cleveland, Cece Cord, Will Cotton, Barbara de Portago, Lauren Ezersky, Han Feng, Barbara Flood, Michele Gerber Klein, Barbara Hoffman, Gemma Kahng, Harold Koda, Martha Kramer, Sally Lee, Laura Lobdell, Fern Mallis, Marsy Mittlemann, Tinu Naija, Katrina Pavlos, Emma Snowdon-Jones, Benny Tabatabai, Kay Unger Pitman, and Barbara Winston.

Camille Jacquemin, Jean Daraspe, and Boldiszar Lukacsi.
Francoise Delaire; Phillip Bloch, Tinu Naija
L. to r.: Francoise Delaire; Phillip Bloch and Tinu Naija.
Bryna Pomp, Megumi Takayanagi, and Nana Watanabe.

MAD prides itself on being NYC’s finest collection of artists’ studio jewelry. Their Craft Front & Center exhibition series explores the thematic touchpoints in craft art history. Their current exhibition OUT of the Jewelry Box features works that explore ideas of identity, such as queerness, PTSD, and politics. Tickets for this exhibition are available at

Visitors can also stop by The Store at MAD, the Museum’s retail arm, to see RE:FINE Spring 2024, featuring 13 forward-thinking international artists who are redefining the world of fine jewelry.

MAD champions contemporary makers across creative fields, presenting artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill to their work. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving 21st-century innovation, fostering a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.

For more information at

Fern Mallis, Paul Van Ravenstein, Pat Cleveland; Lauren Ezersky, Michele Gerber Klein, Yeohlee Teng
L. to r.: Fern Mallis, Paul Van Ravenstein, and Pat Cleveland; Lauren Ezersky, Michele Gerber Klein, and Yeohlee Teng.
Tinu Naija, Barbara de Portago, Barbara Tober, Barbara Winston 3959893
Tinu Naija, Barbara de Portago, Barbara Tober, and Barbara Winston.
Barbara Waldman, Fern Mallis, Jennifer Brown; Emma Snowdon-Jones, Jeffrey Banks
L. to r.: Barbara Waldman, Fern Mallis, and Jennifer Brown; Emma Snowdon-Jones and Jeffrey Banks.
CeCe Cord, Martha Kramer; Carolina von Humboldt, Tiffany Dubin, Beth Gordon 3959912
L. to r.: CeCe Cord and Martha Kramer; Carolina von Humboldt, Tiffany Dubin, and Beth Gordon.
Andrea Karambelas, Paula Throckmorton, Margery Rubin, and Karen Davidov.
L. to r.: Marsy Mittlemann, Tim Rodgers, and Kay Unger; Katrina Pavlos, Barbara Winston, and Alexandra Pappas.
Xiaoshan Ren, Laura Lobdell, Katlean de Monchy, Benny Tabatabai, Barbara Winston
Xiaoshan Ren, Laura Lobdell, Katlean de Monchy, Benny Tabatabai, and Barbara Winston.
Yeohlee Teng, Harold Koda, Lauren Ezersky
Yeohlee Teng, Harold Koda, and Lauren Ezersky.

Photographs by Hechler Photographers (OSL);  Patrick McMullan/PMC (MAD)

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