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Arts / Society

A Major Movie Star Brings Celebrity Power to the Houston Symphony’s Dazzling Opening Night

BY // 09.22.16
photography Jenny Antill Clifton, Wilson Parish

What: Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert & Gala: A Celebration of ConocoPhillips’ 30 Consecutive Underwriter Years

Where: Jones Hall and The Corinthian

Who: Chair Ralph Burch; honorary chairs Lisa and Ryan Lance; underwriting committee chairs Robin Angly and Miles Smith; corporate honoree ConocoPhillips’ — along with Burch and Ryan Lance — Kevin O. Meyers‘ and the late L.F. “Frank” McCollum’s daughter Olive Jenney and granddaughter Emily Brown; Houston Symphony’s executive director/CEO Mark Hanson with wife Christina; Bulgari’s Stephanie von Stein; Cora Sue and Harry MachGina and Devinder Bhatia;Margaret Williams with Jim Daniels; Betty and Jesse Tutor; Candace and Brian Thomas; and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor.

PC Moment: Talk about star power: Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, GRAMMY and BAFTA award-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley was in town for a very memorable Houston Symphony Opening Night. Sir Ben narrated Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf as music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada led the lauded symphony in a program that also included Rossini’s overture to The Thieving Magpie and Richard Strauss’ suite Der Rosenkavalier.

Black tie benefactors enjoyed champagne at the Corinthian before the memorable evening at Jones Hall, and were shuttled back to The Cornithian, transformed into a vibrant contemporary venue by Bergner and Johnson for an exquisite multi-course affair by Jackson and Company complete with wine pairings by Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods. Dancing to The Richard Brown Orchestra continued the party until well into the evening. There was much to celebrate — high six figures were added to the coffers of the Houston Symphony’s Education and Community programming, making it the second most successful night in the event’s history.

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