Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra Gala
On Saturday, April 6th, the Budapest Festival Orchestra held their annual gala at the prestigious Carnegie Hall. Founded in 1983 by Iván Fischer and Zoltán Kocsis, the Budapest Festival Orchestra is recognized as one of the ten leading orchestras of the world. It is adored by audiences and applauded by international critics for its intensive and emotionally gripping performances. This year’s honorary chairs were Ambassador and Mrs. Donald Blinken, Renée Fleming, and Governor and Mrs. George Pataki. The evening began with cocktails and dinner in the Weill Music Room.
Maestro Iván Fischer made a dramatic entrance direct from a rehearsal and warmly greeting his old friend and chairman emeritus, Daisy Soros. At dinner, chairman Stephen Benko said, "We have so much to celebrate here. A return to Carnegie Hall is always special. Tonight will be stunning," followed by a warm and effusive Maestro Fisher, “I would like to hug everybody in this room. It is wonderful to be among our American friends. All of you should be mentioned tonight…”
The evening’s co-chairs were Sylvia Hemingway, Heidi-Lee-Komaromi, Christine Schott Ledes, Laine Siklos, and Stephanie Stokes.
Guests included: Susan Bender, Layla Diba, Martin Hoffman, Sylvia Hemingway, Noémi and Michael Neidorff, Alexandra Nicklas, Reni Rothschild, Sana Sabbagh, Donald and Barbara Tober, Suzanne Vega and Paul L. Mills, and Victoria Wyman.
The evening’s gala committee included: Ambassador Colleen Bell, Susan Bender, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Buckfire, Aaron Feinstein, Andrew Komaromi, Mr. and Mrs. John Merey, Peter Thomas Roth, Emese Tardy-Green, and David Tobey.
The Budapest Festival Orchestra will return to New York August 4th for the Mostly Mozart Festival. Friends will be invited to the annual private Hamptons Summer Chamber Concert. The Orchestra will also perform at the Hollywood Bowl July 30, August 1st and 6th. If you have a chance to see them - DO.
Photos by Annie Watt