What: Houston Symphony Young Professionals Backstage's "Star-crossed Masquerade: Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet Concert + After Party."
Where: Jones Hall and The State Bar and Lounge.
The 411: The return of the longest-running Houston Symphony music director was reason enough for a throng of 200 rising philanthropists to partake in the ensemble's Young Professionals Backstage season finale concert plus social. Hans Graf, joined by cello virtuoso Johannes Moser, led a Russian-inspired playbill that included Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet (thus the masquerade theme) and Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 3. Moser's take on the taxing showpiece earned wows from the audience, which were acknowledged with an intimate encore selection — Bach's Sarabande from the cello Suite No. 1 in G major.
Masks were the accouterment du jour for the afterparty at The State Bar and Lounge, where scenes from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet were projected onto a large screen. Surely roused by Happy Dagger and Poison Vile cocktails, some YPs elected to have their disguise a tad more permanent courtesy of a creative face painter. Mini pizzas and southwestern-style egg rolls added to the ambiance.
The 34-year-old German-Canadian cellist made an appearance at the mixer, much to the delight of fans, Houston Symphony patrons and classical music buffs.
Who: Mix 96.5's Chad Pitt and Lauren Finkelstein, CBS Radio's Victor Guajardo, Katie Chachere, Brittany King, John Pagani, Amanda and Justin Morton, Phat Piron and Paul Pettie with Houston Symphony musicians, principal percussionist Matthew Strauss, principal oboist Jonathan Fischer, flutist Rebecca Powell Garfield and violinist Kiju Joh.