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Society / Featured Parties

Houston Symphony’s Grand Dinner Wows With Rare Wines, Sweet Music and More Than $500,000 Raised

This is No Ordinary Night and No Ordinary Auction

BY // 02.12.19

If you aren’t already BBFs with Houston Symphony patrons Betty and Jesse Tutor, you might want to cozy up to them, particularly if you appreciate fine wine. The duo won the raffle at the symphony’s Wine Dinner & Collector’s Auction, which meant they took home a dozen 100-point wines.

And that was just part of the evening, held at The Astorian, that featured 124 lots of tempting auction items that ran the gamut from rare wines and spirits to dinner parties to exciting trips. While perusing the offerings, the sellout throng of 300 sipped on Manzoni Pinot Nior Santa Lucia Highlands (2014), Paradise Ridge Sauvignon Blanc (2017) and Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne. No Freixenet for these sophisticated palates.

This night of fine food (thank you, City Kitchen) and exceptional wines (merciSpec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods) reigns as one of the city’s most applauded events. The tastes of both gourmands and classic music aficionados were well met with the addition of a brief concert by Houston Symphony violinists MuChen Hsieh and Annie Chen, violist Jarita Ng, and Maki Kubota on cello.

(If only this dinner crowd would learn that these accomplished musicians are not providing background music for table chatter but are rather presenting a brief performance. Yes, that was me, for the second year, shushing the crowd.)

A special decorative touch, in addition to the lavish florals from The Events Co., was the collection of 30 portraits from David AdickesComposer Series. Add the backdrop of the city skyline as seen through The Astorian windows and you have a beautiful party.

Applause, applause for the musicians and for chairs Catherine and Brian James for leading the delicious musical charge that raised more than $500,000 for Houston Symphony education and community outreach programs. More applause, please, for Collector’s Auction chair Bob Weiner, and for Spec’s Lindy and John Rydman and Lisa Rydman for their assist with the dinner wines.

SHOP JEWELRY

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PC Seen: Houston Symphony CEO John Mangum, symphony board president Janet Clark, 2019 symphony ball chairs Courtney and Bill Toomey, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Margaret Alkek Williams, Joella and Steve Mach, Drs. Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah, Robert Sakowitz, Helen and Jim Shaffer, Ann and Jonathan Ayre, Gene and Linda Dewurst, and Barbara and Pat McCelvey.

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