PaperCity Magazine

May 2014 - Houston

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Page 11 of 71

I n the words of Noël Coward, "I've been to a marvelous party." Yes, The Rienzi Society's 14th annual dinner was an utter delight. With the winter wind howling outside, the evening — overseen by chairmen Susie and Skip McGee and Suzanne and Dixon Montague in the John Staub-designed house museum where the late Carroll and Harris Masterson lived and which now accounts for a large portion of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston decorative holdings — was a welcome respite. The night began with drinks and delicious nibbly things in the library, entrance hall, living room and drawing room. In the latter, bergères were on display for potential accession into the collection; as tradition mandates, patrons at this event vote for their favorites after dinner. The party then moved en masse through the dining room and central gallery, where the second potential acquisition — an enamel-on-copper Limoges ewer depicting cavaliers — rested atop a pedestal for all to see. Dinner, care of Swift + Company, was served in the gilded ballroom, making for an altogether pleasing repast that concluded with a superb brandy freeze. Associate decorative arts curator Christine Gervais and Rienzi director Katherine Howe gave society members a more contextual appreciation of the significance of the items up for acquisition as they dined. In the end, however, the coffers ranneth over, with enough money to not only buy the bergères and the Limoges ewer but to make a handsome deposit towards expenses in the coming year. Casting their votes: Isla and Tommy Reckling, Rose Cullen, Carroll Goodman, Ann Trammell, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson, Christiana and Luke McConn, Nancy Allen, Jas Gundry, and MFAH director Gary Tinterow and Christopher Gardner. Seth Vaughan Victor Costa Chairman Dixon Montague Chairman Suzanne Montague Elise Reckling Stephanie Tucker Margaret Williams Marilyn Winters Eleni Fuller Gary Tinterow Bill Finnegan Molly Delery Ken Delery Carroll Goodman Isla Reckling Tommy Reckling Ballroom Suppers and Undue Acquisition Angst PHOTOGRAPHY JENNY ANTILL. Wondrous RIENZI Nancy Allen Christiana McConn Cyvia Wolff Tami Wall John Kotts Amy Purvis David Wall Melvyn Wolff Judy Margolis Wally Wilson Jeanie Kilroy Wilson Celina Hellmund Chairman Susie McGee Chairman Skip McGee Jerry Ann Costa MAY | PAGE 12 | 2014 Andrés Orozco-Estrada WERNER KMETITSCH Laila Storch Sergiu Comissiona Hans Graf CARLOS ROSALES HOUSTON SYMPHONY ARCHIVES BRUCE BENNETT HIGH OCTAVES+ DULCET NOTES HAPPY HOUSTON SYMPHONY C ommemorating a centennial is a very big deal, and this year we've had commerce, environmental and melodic milestones for three Houston institutions: the Port of Houston, Hermann Park and the venerable, ascendant Houston Symphony under CEO Mark Hanson. The latter blows out 100 candles with our town's first-ever performance arts Centennial Ball, set to be a splendid evening at Jones Hall Saturday, May 17, chaired by one of the Symphony's first families of philanthropy, Cora Sue and Harry Mach and Joella and Steve Mach, with after- 100 party chairs Divya and Chris Brown. The details are hush, hush, but as media sponsor we've been privy to whispers that the entire orchestra- level seats will be covered with a stage. The lavish, never-to-be- repeated white-tie night features Glee headliner Matthew Morrison while honoring illustrious arts advocates Marie Bosarge, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, and Margaret Williams. Each munificent lead underwriter will receive a copy of the volume that documents it all — the landmarks, musicians, patrons and personalities that molded the Houston Symphony into one of the top 10 orchestras in America. Curious about the story? Pick up your own copy of Houston Symphony: Celebrating a Century, which tells all about its talented, dramatic and often controversial musical directors from 1913 onward — with names including Leopold Stokowski, Sergiu Comissiona, André Previn, Christoph Eschenbach, Hans Graf and the incoming Andrés Orozco-Estrada, as well as the journey from the Beaux Arts-era New Majestic Theatre along Texas Avenue (which the Symphony shared with a vaudeville company) to today's Jones Hall. And what role did women play? That's here, too, with Miss Ima Hogg's contributions divulged — the doyenne of the Symphony and Bayou Bend is shown in the wonderful portrait by Gittings, left, one of the ball's underwriters — as well as the female musicians who held almost unheard of roles in the orchestra. Also underscored is a tale of diversity, which culminates in Orozco-Estrada's upcoming appointment, as well as the presence of such accomplished maestros as concertmaster Frank Huang. Houston Symphony: Celebrating a Century (Herring Design, $70); purchase through Houston Symphony Box Office, 713.224.7575, the Symphony Store during concerts or River Oaks Bookstore. Catherine D. Anspon Ima Hogg, at Bayou Bend GITTINGS Houston Symphony Orchestra performs at the New Majestic Theatre, 1915 - 1916 season DEMARLER STUDIO

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