New World Symphony Gala: 1000

Celebrating New World Symphony’s 28th Anniversary

Michael Tilson Thomas and Malcolm McDowell

New World Symphony (NWS), America’s Orchestral Academy, presented its Gala: 1000 on Saturday, March 12, to celebrate the organization’s milestone achievement of reaching 1,000 alumni in its 28th year. The event honored the vision of co-founders Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted and Lin Arison by welcoming back five innovative alumni who have advanced the world of classical music.

More than 500 of the organization’s supporters were joined by Malcolm McDowell, star of Amazon’s hit series Mozart In The Jungle, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Sponsored by Total Wine & More, Bacardi and Fathom, the evening was a huge success. Proceeds directly benefit New World Symphony’s mission of preparing gifted young musicians for careers in professional orchestras, while providing meaningful cultural programs to the South Florida community.

As guests arrived at the New World Center, they were greeted by a Bacardi cocktail reception. The experience was followed by a special onstage performance by New World Symphony’s 87 Fellows and five returning alumni: Andrew Wickesberg, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Viola); Joseph Peters, Minnesota Orchestra (Principal Oboe); Rebekah Heller, International Contemporary Ensemble (Bassoon); Billy Hunter, Metropolitan Opera (Principal Trumpet); and Christopher McLaurin, Kansas City Symphony (Principal Percussion).

Neisen & Ana Kasdin

A highlight of the evening occurred when Michael Tilson Thomas, a ten-time Grammy Award winner, surprised guests by joining Malcolm McDowell on stage. In Mozart In The Jungle, McDowell plays the role of an older, more traditional conductor competing with rising young talent. The moment made for an exciting interaction between a real-life conductor, and a star that plays one on television, as MTT gave McDowell a conducting lesson, and McDowell led America’s Orchestral Academy in a performance of Khachaturian’s popular “Sabre Dance.”

After the performance, guests were seated for a dinner accompanied by special musical interludes. Supporters then continued the evening at an exclusive late night after-party at the New World Center, which featured Michael Andrew Big Band and a guest performance by New World Symphony’s Trombone Fellow, Nick Platoff.

Notable Guests: Gala chairs Ana and Neisen Kasdin and their son Eric Kasdin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Malcolm McDowell, Sarah Arison, Alan Faena and Ximena Caminos, Edward Shumsky and Susan Kronick, Rose Ellen Greene, Diane and Alan Lieberman, Carolyn and Mark Keller, Karl Finegan, Joy and Fred Malakoff, Diane Sepler, Rick and Lidia Martin, Jeffrey and Lisa Akin, Javier and Cecilia Beneyto, Jesus and Maria Guevara and Norma Castillo.

The New World Symphony also announced that next year’s gala will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

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