The Vienna Philharmonic Society celebrated with a black-tie concert and dinner in a private club. Limited to just 150 guests, it was arguably the most elegant event of the current social season, and under distinguished patronage including H.E. Wolfgang Waldner, Ambassador of Austria to the United States and Mrs. Gudrun Faudon-Waldner; H.E. Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations and Mrs. Latica Tomasic-Kickert; and H.E. Dr. Helmut Boeck, Consul General of Austria to New York and Mrs. Barbara Boehm-Boeck.
Arriving promptly for cocktails every guest was greeted by name by the chairman, Marifé Hernández, and her husband, Joel Bell. After just 45 minutes the concert began. Marifé’s introduction of the Orchestra made special thanks to all assembled, especially to her Board. Because of their generosity, The Vienna Philharmonic Society in now a founding donor of the newly created Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Academy in Vienna, committed to training a new generation of classical musicians. The Society’s participation ensures that a place would be held each year at The Academy for a gifted American student.
The performance was Brahms’ String Sextet in G Major, Op. 36; one of the master’s most demanding works, and one close to the composer’s heart as it conceals a reference to Agathe von Siebold (with whom he was infatuated) in the first movement. This was followed by a rousing encore, reminiscent of old Vienna. After thunderous applause, the patrons moved to a magnificent dinner of Quenelle de Brochet, Pan Seared Medallions of Veal in Brandied Morel Sauce served with Bundles of Baby Asparagus and Polenta, and Chocolate Soufflé with Vanilla Gelato. The music, the flowers, the red calligraphy place cards and menu cards – everything was of an old world perfection not commonly achieved.
Guests included Ambassador Ping Huang, Chinese Consul General to New York, and his wife Mrs. Lilly Zhang, Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi, Japanese Consul General to New York, Ambassador and Mrs. Andrew Jacovides, Ambassador Donald Blinken, Carnegie Hall Director Clive Gillinson and his wife Anya Gillinson, Arianne Batterberry, Tony Bechara, Bill Bernhard, Giancarla and Luciano Berti, Noreen Buckfire, John Dobkin, Joanna Fisher, Noel Lateef, Pia Lindstrom, William Nitze, Cynthia Polsky, Daisy Soros, Helene and Hugh Tilney, Barbara and Donald Tober, Svetlana and Herbert Wachtel and Michael Tilson Thomas, who conducted two of the ViennaPhilharmonic Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall.
The Vienna Philharmonic Society, founded in 2016, supports and celebrates the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Through a variety of educational programs with their partner, The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, including Master Classes for advanced students and music events for children in the community, the Vienna Philharmonic Society helps the Orchestra expand its contribution to the cultural life of New York and cities throughout our country.