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Black Tie International:
The Vienna Philharmonic Society
VPS Gala VPS Board Nizam Kettaneh, John Hargraves, Theodora Simons, Cynthia Sculco, Elizabeth Ingleby, Bill Forster, Max Jahn
VPS Gala VPS Board Nizam Kettaneh, John Hargraves, Theodora Simons, Cynthia Sculco, Elizabeth Ingleby, Bill Forster, Max Jahn

 The Vienna Philharmonic Society presented The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for over one hundred benefit guests at a private club 

There are many grand fundraisers in New York, but some nights are special and this is always because of their hosts.  Although the Chairman of The Vienna Philharmonic Society, Marifé Hernández, was unable to attend, her attention was evident everywhere.  Resting comfortably at home, recovering from surgery, she still saw to the placement of every guest and every detail.  Her beloved husband Joel Bell arranged a first - the evening was videotaped so she could see it.  Guests were invited to record their own get-well messages for the much-missed chairman.  Her warm presence was felt everywhere.

Following cocktails, there was a remarkable performance of the Octet in F Major by Franz Schubert, a signature piece of the Orchestra repertory.  The concert and dinner were under the distinguished patronage of all the senior Austrian officials in our country including His Excellency Wolfgang Waldner, Austrian Ambassador to the United States and Mrs. Gudrun Faudon-Waldner; His Excellency Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria To the United Nations and Mrs. Latica Tomasic-Kickert; His Excellency Helmut Boeck, Austrian Consul General in New York and Mrs. Barbara Boehm-Boeck; Christine Moser, Director, Austrian Cultural Forum.  

Through generous sponsorship of Vienna Philharmonic Society (in partnership with the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall) Principal musicians from the Orchestra conducted Master Classes with former students of Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra (NYO), all of whom are now Conservatory students in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York City, Oberlin, Philadelphia, and Puerto Rico.  The message to them throughout the day was legato – learning to play in a smooth, flowing manner, without breaks between notes, to play with passion, and to play as if you are making your instrument sing.  Steeped in the rich history of the 176-year-old Vienna Philharmonic, the instructors emphasized understanding the history of each work and its author, to bring the music to life as the composer intended. 

The Vienna Philharmonic Society, founded in 2016, is a New York based non-profit organization that supports and celebrates the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and works to extend its performances across the United States. Through a variety of educational programs with their partner, The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, including Master Classes for advanced students and music events for children in the community, the Vienna Philharmonic Society helps the Orchestra expand its contribution to the cultural life of New York and cities throughout the country. For more see:


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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