New World Symphony Gala

Honors 70th birthday of co-founding artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas

Michael Tilson Thomas and Sylvia Weinstock

The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), celebrated the 70th birthday of co-founding artistic director, musician, conductor, pianist, composer, educator, producer, visionary, maverick and 11-time Grammy Award-winner Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) during the institution’s annual gala, hosted by Gala Chairs Ambassador Paul L. Cejas and Trudy Cejas.

Upon arrival, guests followed NWS’ signature blue carpet into the New World Center, where they sipped on Bacardi cocktails and wine from Iron Horse Vineyards. During the reception, the geometric interior surfaces of the Frank Gehry-designed facility were emblazoned with projected photos of Michael Tilson Thomas, as well as guest artist faculty and memorable moments from the company’s history.

A one-hour performance by the New World Symphony Fellows and five illustrious alumni, led by Michael Tilson Thomas, followed the reception. At the conclusion of the performance, NWS board chair Rose Ellen Greene led guests and the orchestra in a rendition of “Happy Birthday,” which concluded with confetti canons blasting inside the performance hall. MTT was presented with a four-foot cake designed and created by celebrity cake maker Sylvia Weinstock.

Guests then made their way to one of five dining areas at the New World Center and nearby YUCA, where they ate Filet Mignon with Truffle Ash and Potatoes Lyonnaise, Bouillabaisse with Fennel, Rainbow Swiss Chard and Spinach Gnocchi, or Vegetarian Lasagna with Circular Bread Crostini, followed by Poached Pear and Profiterole Drizzled with Warm Chocolate Sauce.

Austin Harrelson, Ilona and Chad Oppenheim and Sarah Harrelson

During dinner, the New World Center’s flexible concert hall space was transformed into a dance floor, where Michael Andrew & The Atomic Big Band performed for the late-night party. Guests enjoyed birthday cake and Mad Chiller coffee, and danced until 1:00 am.

The silent auction featured a single item: an 18k yellow gold “Criss Cross Cuff” bracelet by Verdura. Cultured Magazine was the media sponsor of the event.

Guests in attendance included Joshua Robison, David Edelstein, Liliya “Rose” Mukhamadyarova and William Strong, Stephen and Sabine Bittel, Chanin and Adam Carlin, Susan D. Kronick and Edward Manno Shumsky, Sari and Arthur Agatston, Sarah Arison, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Florence and Sheldon Anderson, Marlene and Nadim Ashi, Martha and Bruce Clinton; Douglas Cramer and Hubert Bush, Ximena Caminos and Alan Faena; Russell Galbut, Marcia and Harry Hersh, Ana and Neisen Kasdin, Jane and Gerald Katcher, Chaim Katzman, Jan and William Morrison, Diane and Robert Moss, Merle and Michael Orlove, Patricia Papper, Alfonso C. Rey, Laura and Jeff Roberts, Rhona and Andrew Smulian.

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