Houston Symphony’s $540,000 Opening Night Brings Powerful Music and Black-Tie Glamour

A Stirring Performance and a Soaring Dinner Setting

BY Shelby Hodge // 09.25.22

The Houston Symphony opened its 2022-23 season with the rapturous concert Verdi’s Requiem, in the hands of the symphony’s powerful new music director Juraj Valčuha, and with a black-tie dinner in the festive Corinthian Houston. It turned into an evening that raised more than $540,000 for the orchestra’s education and outreach programs.

The full orchestra and the Houston Symphony Chorus were accompanied on stage at Jones Hall by soprano Ana María Martínez, mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya, tenor Jonathan Tetelman and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy.

Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert & Gala; Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert & Gala dinner held at The Corinthian (Photo by Priscilla Dickson)

The stirring performance set an energized stage for the festive dinner that followed at the event space noted for its lyrical corinthian columns and balcony overlook.

The Events Company worked its magic to further enhance the glamour of the evening by hanging scores of sparkling chandeliers overhead and draping the room in lavish swaths of greenery. Explosions of white roses and greenery centered tables covered in green linens.

Drs. Susan and Dennis Carlyle chaired the fundraiser that saw more than 300 guests board buses from Jones Hall for the brief jaunt to Corinthian Houston where Jackson & Company provided the champagne-infused dinner featuring black cod. (Congrats to the caterer for pulling off a fish dish for 300 with every plate served deliciously warm and not even a smidgen of fishy smell in the grand hall.)

Tracy & Valerie Dieterich , Cara Adams & Eric Brueggeman at the Houston Symphony Opening Night gala (Photo by Priscilla Dickson)

As is tradition with symphony fundraisers, Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods selected wine pairings for the meal. Spec’s owner John Rydman, a longtime symphony supporter, currently serves as board president.

Following the late-night dinner, the David Caceres band cranked up the dance tunes.

PC Seen: Houston Symphony executive director and CEO John Mangum and wife Regina, Margaret Alkek Williams, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Janet Clark, Bobbie Nau, Hallie Vanderhider, Betty and Jesse Tutor, Mary Lynn and Steve Marks, Tammy and Wayne Nguyen, Vicki West and Ralph Burch, Joan and Bob Duff, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Dee and Lea Hunt, Susan and Ed Osterberg and Jacquie Baly Craig and James Craig.

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