On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, the New York Philharmonic hosted its first-ever Chinese New Year Gala concert. 390 guests attended the event and over $1,050,000 was raised for the Philharmonic.
The evening celebrated the Year of the Dragon with a program of Chinese and western orchestral music. The performance was led by Long Yu in his Philharmonic conducting debut, and featured pianist Lang Lang and Philharmonic Principal Oboe Liang Wang, as well as bamboo flutist Junqiao Tang and the Quintessenso Mongolian Children’s Choir, also in their Philharmonic debuts.
A special Dragon Dance took place on the Josie Robertson Plaza preceding the concert and inside Avery Fisher Hall throughout the evening. Arranged by Nai-Ni Chen in collaboration with Sifu Henry Lee for the occasion, the dance was performed by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and members of its youth program, accompanied by live percussion music by Mr. Lee.
Guests of the Chinese New Year Gala arrived at Avery Fisher Hall beginning at 6:00 p.m. for an hour-long cocktail reception on the Grand Promenade. The concert began at 7:30 p.m., followed by a traditional Chinese attire/black-tie dinner also on the Grand Promenade.
The evening’s event was catered by Restaurant Associates, and the décor was provided by Van Vliet & Trap.
Honorary Chairmen for the Gala were Mr. and Mrs. Maurice R. Greenberg, The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger and Mrs. Kissinger, and H.E. Ambassador LI Baodong and Madam LU Hailin. The Gala Co-Chairmen were Angela Chen, Guoqing Chen, Anla Cheng, Lady Linda Wong Davies, The Honorable Frank N. Newman and Mrs. Newman, Gary W. Parr, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar L. Tang, Ansso Wang, and Shirley Young.
Photos by Chris Lee, Linsley Lindekens