Madeline Zuckerman

Marketing & Public Relations, Inc.









RAISES $125,000


November 2nd , 2010


Pacific Symphony’s 2010 Pops Opening Night Dinner and Masquerade Soiree- Left -> Right:
Sally Anderson, Pacific Symphony Board Chair and Event Co-chair; Richard Kaufman, Principal Pops Conductor; Jane Taylor, Event Co-chair; and Donna Schroeder, Event Co-chair.
PHOTO CREDIT: Nicholas Koon Photography

Orange County, Calif. - It looked as if Mardi Gras had come to Orange County last Saturday night—when more than 200 guests adorned in dressy attire and ornate masks gathered for Pacific Symphony’s 2010 Pops Opening Night Dinner and Masquerade Soiree to celebrate much-loved Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman’s 20th anniversary! The enchanting and mysterious night-to-remember got underway with a cocktail reception, as guests entered the Westin South Coast Plaza via a red carpet, where they were greeted by brightly costumed stilt walkers, jugglers and other Commedia dell’arte performers. The multi-faceted evening continued with an elaborate dinner, followed by a masked procession to the concert hall for the Symphony’s “Three Phantoms in Concert,” led by Kaufman and featuring three extraordinary singers who played the starring role in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Broadway hit, “The Phantom of the Opera.” Post-concert, the party continued back at the hotel, where guests danced to a live band and special guest artist Whitney Kaufman performed for the revelers. The night proved to be more than just a grand celebration, it also raised $125,000 (net) for the Symphony’s artistic and education programs.

“The Opening Night celebration of our 2010-2011 concert season was absolutely thrilling,” says Kaufman. “I was deeply touched by all the ‘fanfare’ paid to my 20th anniversary with the orchestra, and especially by the kind and generous words of Carl St.Clair. Having the opportunity to be part of Pacific Symphony’s ‘team’ has been a great blessing in my life, and I am looking forward to all we will be doing in the future. The celebration of the past weekend is
really a tribute to the extraordinary musicians and staff of Pacific Symphony, as well as to our audiences...the greatest anywhere!”

Chaired by Sally Anderson, Donna Schroeder and Jane Taylor, the soirée’s theme was influenced by a very important scene in both the musical and movie, “The Phantom of the Opera,” which takes place at a masked ball. Hidden behind a spectacular variety of masks, guests mingled and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, while models from the event’s retail partner St. John and costumed performers on balls and stilts roamed the room. (Ermenegildo Zegna was also a retail partner for this event.) Guests then headed into the ballroom for a special dinner created exclusively for the event by The Westin’s executive chef Hussain Zouhbi. While enjoying live music by the Joey Sellers Band, dinner was served, beginning with a roast apples-goat cheese-pecans salad—whetting appetites for the entrée duet of whole roasted beef tenderloin and jumbo shrimp.

Pacific Symphony’s 2010 Pops Opening Night Dinner and Masquerade Soiree- Left -> Right:
Maxim Eshkenazy, Assistant Conductor; Carl St.Clair, Music Director; Richard Kaufman, Principal Pops Conductor; and John Forsyte; Symphony President.
PHOTO CREDIT: Nicholas Koon Photography

Symphony President John Forsyte, Symphony Board Chair Sally Anderson and Music Director Carl St.Clair all spoke from the podium, offering warm memories and words of appreciation for Kaufman, before the man in the spotlight expressed his own gratitude and thoughts on reaching the milestone anniversary. The meal was topped off with crème brulée, dark chocolate and sorbet. Guests then joined a masked procession, replete with jugglers, stilt walkers and other characters of the court, which led out of the hotel, headed to the concert hall, where guests were treated to the mesmerizing “Three Phantoms in Concert.”

The performance was a mix of Broadway magic and the cachet of “The Phantom of the Opera” with three performers who have played that title role: Craig Schulman, Kevin Gray and Brad Little. The Symphony, led by Maestro Kaufman, backed the singers in the soaring melodies from Webber’s phenomenon—now the longest running musical on Broadway—plus blockbusters from “Les Misérables,” “Miss Saigon,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Nine,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Man of La Mancha,” “Paint Your Wagon,” “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying,” “The Secret Garden” and more. A standing ovation brought the singers back for an encore: “You Gotta Have Heart” from “Damn Yankees.”

“I can say without hesitation that the ‘Three Phantoms’ brought great artistry and fun to our opening weekend,” says Kaufman. “It was like hearing 15 Broadway shows in the space of two hours, sung by three extraordinary performers. If our opening weekend was any measure of the rest of our Pops season, it’s going to be a spectacular year!”
But that wasn’t all!

The party continued during intermission on the Box Circle level and then again post-concert, when guests returned to The Westin for cocktails, dessert and dancing to live music by the Baytown Band—and an appearance by special surprise guest artist, Whitney Kaufman—Richard’s daughter, who sang to the audience and brought a tear to her father’s eye. (Apparently talent runs in the family, as she recently starred in “Mamma Mia” on Broadway.)

“Music and parties go hand-in-hand,” says Kaufman. “The dinner, the show and then the post-concert dancing and dessert made for a grand celebration. For me, it was the opportunity to share the night with my beautiful wife Gayle, my parents, several dear friends and my daughter Whitney. Her special musical presentation is something that I shall treasure for the rest of my life!”
Pacific Symphony’s Pops series is made possible by the Symphony’s official airline, American Airlines; official hotel, The Westin South Coast Plaza; official Pops radio station, K-Earth 101; and official television station, KOCE-TV.


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