Posted September 14, 2014 | © Photo by The Flash List
Sarah, Duchess of York, may have summed it up best during her opening remarks on the Meyerson stage at the 2014 AT&T DSO Gala when she posed the question:
"Our life is an orchestra; so why don't we just play on?"
This week's celebration of the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center crescendoed to a culmination at Saturday evening's sold-out concert. The event consisted of a glamorous reception (with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres as well as jewelry displays courtesy of Eiseman Jewels) followed by an elegant seated dinner with wine pairings, a concert featuring the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and world-renown violinist Itzhak Perlman, and a lively after-party with desserts and dancing.
Gala Chairs Jan Miller and Jeff Rich led a collective display of gratitude toward philanthropist Margaret McDermott along with Honorary Gala Chairs Margot and Ross Perot who were in attendance and thereby honored for their generous support of the DSO and their visionary leadership which has been an integral part of bringing to fruition the building of Dallas' magnificent concert venue. Meyerson 25th Anniversary Chair Dolores Barzune also presented crystal and an engraved piece of original limestone to Li Chung (Sandi) Pei who accepted it on behalf of his 97-year-old father, the building's architect, I. M. Pei.
This formal kick-off to the 2014/2015 concert season was ushered in with additional comments by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and his wife Micki, AT&T executive Holly Reed, and DSO President/CEO Jonathan Martin. The gala, sponsored by AT&T for the 14th consecutive year, raises money for the DSO to go on the road and for special projects such as next year's first annual Soluna: International Music and Arts Festival.
With collaborative musical talent assembled from 14 countries and 50 educational institutions with a cumulative total of 2,033 years of individual service spanning 5 days to 52 years, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Jaap van Zweden, performed extravagantly. From the first ethereal, dream-like tones of Ravel's beautifully romantic Suite No. 2 from the ballet Daphnis et Chloe to the majestic heralding of brass in the full-spectrum, multi-faceted, Carnival-inspired Capriccio italien by Tchaikovsky, the audience was well entertained and warmly appreciative.
Nestled between these grand pieces, the internationally-acclaimed "reigning virtuoso of the violin" Itzhak Perlman joined the DSO for Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1. The emotionally-encompassing effect of the lone sound of his violin (as skillfully manipulated by the man considered to be the greatest violinist in the world) gave the impression that the 'here and now' was simply fading away and that the audience was seemingly transported to some tranquilly peaceful meadow where Perlman might casually sit on a park bench and musically translate some elaborate story whereby we might all be utterly captivated. As an encore, Perlman performed the Theme from Schindler's List for which he received abundant enthusiastic applause during an extended standing ovation.
The concert, which was telecast live in downtown's still-new Klyde Warren Park, was followed by an exciting fireworks display (shot from the roof of the Meyerson) and a high-energy, nightclub-styled soiree hosted by After-Party Chair Anna-Sohpia van Zweden. The futuristic "Space Odyssey" theme was indicated by space-themed decor, on-floor galactic videos, an astronaut suit standing adjacent to the multicolored LED-lit dance floor, and introductory music like David Bowie's Space Oddity and Madonna's Lucky Star. Throughout the latter part of the evening, top local DJ Lucy Wrubel (who is well-versed in making grownups feel like kids again) offered up tracks of music spanning the generations from Boston's "More Than a Feeling" to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" and even an audience-participation version of "You're the One That I Want" from the movie Grease during which Wrubel encouraged the crowd to exhibit its 'baddest' dance-floor behavior.
Browse the link below for details about additional upcoming concerts and information regarding special holiday events presented by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.