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 AuctionBY Shelby Hodge // 02.12.19
Raffle winners Betty & Jesse Tutor (Photo by Wilson Parish)
David Adickes, Catherine & Brian James (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Andrew Cordes & Brian Teichman (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Dr. Devinder & Gina Bhatia (Photo by Wilson Parish)
David & Tara Wuthrich, Joella & Steve Mach (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Viviana Denechaud, Bill & Courtney Toomey (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Ann & Jonathan Ayre (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Barbara & Pat McCelvy (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Barbara Burger, Andrew Pedersen (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Drs. Vivek & Ishwaria Subbiah (Photo by Anthony Rathbun)
Eric Lindsey, Lisa Rydman(Photo by Wilson Parish)
Bill & Courtney Toomey, Susan & Dick Hansen (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Bob & Joan Duff (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Bobby & Phoebe Tudor, Kristin Kelly & BJ Walker (Photo by Anthony Rathbun)
Carolyn Faulk, Pat Studdert, Valerie Dieterich(Photo by Wilson Parish)
Charles & Tammy Johnson, Hallie Vanderhider, Fady Armanious (Photo by Wilson Parish)(Photo by Wilson Parish)
Darrin Davis, Cheryl Byington, Miles Sith(Photo by Wilson Parish)
Farida Abjani, Rosemin Premji (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Chairs Catherine & Brian James (Photo by Wilson Parish)
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 (merci, Spec’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 Adickes‘ Composer 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.
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.