Shelby About Town

Mozart, manor houses and Mercury Baroque make for hot topics in this week's social swirl

Mozart, manor houses and Mercury Baroque make for hot topics in this week's social swirl

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Tara and David Wuthrich celebrating Mozart's birthday at Tony's. Courtesy Photo
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Betty and Jesse Tutor hosted the Mozart lunch in honor of the Houston Symphony. Courtesy Photo
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Manderston in Scotland is a manor house with a Houston connection and a PBS role. Photo by Jeremy C. Little
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Larry and Sharin Norman, left, with Antoine Plante at the Mercury Baroque kick-off. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
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Michael Pearson, from left, Deana Blackburn and Deborah Lugo at the Mercury Baroque event. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
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Erik and Nancy Littlejohn at Mercury Baroque. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
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Friday was Mozart's 256th birthday so what better way to celebrate the upcoming "Rock Me Amadeus!" Symphony Ball than with a birthday luncheon in the San Remo Room at Tony's. That was the plan hatched by Betty and Jesse TutorHouston Symphony board chairman. And with only a week's planning, they packed the room with 70 midday celebrants.

Guests of honor were chairs of the March 23 gala Tara and David Wuthrich, co-chairs Audrey and Brandon Cochran and Alexandra and David Pruner and honorary chairs Mariglyn and Stephen Glenn. Taking bows at the luncheon were ball honorees Denise Bush Bahr and Philipp Bahr and Julia and Russell Frankel.

Adding to the spirit of the day, the Tutors provided a grab bag of Mozart wigs for the unexpecting gents in the spotlight.

Applauding the symphony ball pep rally were symphony CEO Mark Hanson, board president Bobby Tudor and wife Phoebe, gala auction chairs Lavonne Cox and Katie Flaherty, Denis DeBakey, Judy Maynard, Lindley Arnoldy, Rachael Volz, Linsay Radcliff, April Lykos and Lisa and Jerry Simon.

Manor house hobnobbing

If you aren't glued to the Super Bowl on Sunday, you might want to switch over to HoustonPBS for a fascinating documentary on British manor houses that airs just after Downton Abbey. A major focal point of the piece is Manderston, the Scottish manor house where former Houstonian Loraine McMurrey Palmer and Lord Adrian Palmer reside. They were wed in London in 2006.

Secrets of the Manor House, which originally aired nationally on Jan. 22, pays special attention to the integration of wealthy Americans into British aristocracy and thus the interest in Loraine.

In 2010, CultureMap reported on the third annual Berwickshire Hunt Ball that the Palmers held at the lavish country estate.

A little night music

That's what guests attending Mercury Baroque's gala kick-off had on their mind at Up Restaurant when chairs Sharin and Larry Norman joined Mercury Baroque maestro and artistic director Antoine Plante in welcoming a well-heeled group for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and the non-profit's signature sound on the terrace.

More than 120 Mercruy Baroque fans geared up for the "Party Like It's 1699!" That themed soirée takes place March 24 on the Brown Theater Stage at Wortham Center. Organizers are billing it as "a blast from the past with a modern-day twist."

Soaking in the chichi atmosphere of Up were Nancy and Erik Littlejohn, Franco Valobra, Diane Lokey Farb,  Sandra Chunn, Janine Iannarelli, Mel Jacobs, Deana Blackburn and loads more.

Sight 'ems

John and Becca Cason Thrash, Gregory Fourticq, Sara Dodd-Spickelmier, Keith Spickelmier, Bill Caudell and Randy Powers dining in the bar at Tony's . . .

Publicist Judy Nichols celebrating her birthday at Up Restaurant in Highland Village where owner Haidar Barbouti hosted the group of more than 30 well-wishers who included organizers Brenda Cheney and Howard Covens plus Mary Jane Zummo, Lilli and Noel Braniff, Johnny Zummo, Beverly and Tony Zummo and Janice and David Roberts.