Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra Celebrate at 2018 Pre-Gala Party

Sana Sabbagh, Susan Gutfreund, Daisy Soros

Susan Gutfreund opened her magnificent Fifth Avenue duplex for the Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra on Wednesday, January 10th. Stephen E. Benko, their Chairman, flew in from Hungary to attend. In a heartfelt toast, he thanked Mrs. Gutfreund for her kindness and generosity. 

Stephen E. Benko
 Mr. Benko also brought important news for classical music lovers: “In October of this year, the Orchestra Maestro Fischer will be unveiling the inaugural Vicenza Opera Festival at the magnificent Teatro Olimpico, in Italy, the birth place of modern opera.” Maestro Fischer hopes this new festival will bolster the international opera scene and highlight Italy’s hidden treasures.

“This Saturday," Benko continued, "the Orchestra is holding its first sensory-friendly Cocoa concert outside of Hungary at Lincoln Center. Maestro Fischer designed these concerts for young people on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities and their families. I'm thrilled to tell you that the event sold out within hours of its announcement in December and the waiting list is still growing!”

On hand to celebrate were Daisy Soros, who founded the Friends organization and is currently chairman emeritus, as well as this year’s gala co-chairs Kathryn Livingston Forgan and Christine Schott Ledes.  Other guests included Steven Aronson, Tony Bechara, Stephen and Radka Benko, Cornelia Bregman, Janna Bullock, Cece Cord, Steve and Rebecca Greenwald, Sylvia Hemingway, Geoffrey and Caron Johnson, Richard Johnson, Michèle Gerber Klein, Andrew and Heidi-Lee Komaromi, Liz Peek, Monika McLennan, Christopher Mason, Sana Sabbagh, Dame Jillian Sackler, Laine Siklos, Stephanie Stokes, Kathy Roder, Elizabeth Segerstrom, Jean Shafiroff, Barbara Tober, and David and Julie Tobey. 

Photos courtesy of Patrick McMullan Company 

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