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