A New York Social Diary

Houston power couple orchestrates a $2.9 million New York gala: How Texas took Manhattan

Houston power couple orchestrates a $2.9 million New York gala

16 Phoebe and Bobby, from left, with Yo-yo Ma and Alan Gilbert at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, from left, Yo-Yo Ma and Alan Gilbert at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
9 Jackson Hicks, from left, Margaret Tudor and Milton Townsend at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Jackson Hicks, from left, Margaret Tudor and Milton Townsend before the New York Philharmonic concert. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
19 Tom and April Lykos, from left, with Mark Hanson at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Houstonians Tom and April Lykos, left, with Mark Hanson at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
18 scene venue tent table settings at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Following the New York Philharmonic opening night concert, guests adjourned to a lavish party tent for dinner. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
7 Dagney Pruner, from left, Robert McEwan and Alexadra and Dave Pruner at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Houstonains Dagney Pruner, from left, Robert McEwan and Alie and Dave Pruner at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
13 Michael and Melissa Mithoff at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Michael and Melissa Mithoff were among Houstonians at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night festivities. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
11 Mark Hanson, left, and Yo-yo Ma at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Mark Hanson, left, and Yo-yo Ma share a moment after the cellist's performance at the New York Philharmonic opening concert. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
15 Phoebe Tudor, left, and Maregaret Tudor at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Phoebe Tudor, left, and Margaret Tudor at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night Gala celebration. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
12 Rosie Jowitt and Matthew VanVesien at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Rosie Jowitt and Matthew VanBesien at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night celebration. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
17 table setting place setting salad flower arrangement at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
Tables were beautifully set for the New York Philharmonic Opening Night dinner. Photo by © Julie Skarratt
16 Phoebe and Bobby, from left, with Yo-yo Ma and Alan Gilbert at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
9 Jackson Hicks, from left, Margaret Tudor and Milton Townsend at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
19 Tom and April Lykos, from left, with Mark Hanson at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
18 scene venue tent table settings at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
7 Dagney Pruner, from left, Robert McEwan and Alexadra and Dave Pruner at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
13 Michael and Melissa Mithoff at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
11 Mark Hanson, left, and Yo-yo Ma at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
15 Phoebe Tudor, left, and Maregaret Tudor at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
12 Rosie Jowitt and Matthew VanVesien at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013
17 table setting place setting salad flower arrangement at the New York Philharmonic Opening Night October 2013

At last the photos and the deets are in on that grand night in Manhattan when a contingent of classical music lovers from Houston partied with Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, who co-chaired the New York Philharmonic Opening Night Gala at Avery Fisher Hall. This inaugural of New York's fall social season raised a whopping $2.86 million for the Philharmonic thanks to the largesse of 850 guests.

Two dozen Houstonians joined the Tudors in that cultural hands-across-the-country evening that celebrated the orchestra's 172nd anniversary. The Houston connection began with Philharmonic executive director Matthew VanBesien, who preceded Mark Hanson in that role at the Houston Symphony. VanBesien and his wife, Rosie Jowitt, were on hand to welcome the contingent. 

Sharing the spotlight with the Tudors were co-chairs Noreen and Ken Buckfire and Gabriela and Antonio Quintella. The couples were front and center at the black-tie dinner that followed in an elaborately decorated party tent on the Josie Robertson Plaza.

In addition to concert headliner cellist Yo-Yo Ma, whom the Tudors have entertained in their Houston home, bold-face New Yorkers in the mix included Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria, Joshua Bell and Larisa Martinez, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross and philanthropist Daisy Soros.

Among those making the trip from Houston in support of the Tudors were Jackson Hicks and Milton Townsend, the Tudor's daughter Margaret, Stephanie and Steven Shafran, April and Tom Lykos, Beth Madison, Michele and Robert Yekovich, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Birgitt van Wijk and Alie and Dave Pruner