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San Diego Symphony Gala
Opus 2011: 'A Night in Paris'
University Club & Copley Symphony Hall
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“'Symphony Sweethearts' decorated the centerpieces and made them all individual and very French looking. (Lori Walton is one of the Sweethearts). The concert was amazing and that pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet…Wow! (not to mention very cute… and those shoes he was wearing!) The after-concert party was a blast! One of the most fun Symphony parties we’ve ever been to. Thanks goes to the Grosvenors!" - Sheryl White
The San Diego Symphony held their sensational season opening October 1st, 2011. The evening started at the prestigious University Club Atop Symphony Towers downtown.
Black tie dressed guests were greeted curbside by 'Parisian Paparazzi' reminiscent of the mid-1900's.
Guests wound past a string quartet from the San Diego Symphony, to the bank of elevator doors where a Van Cleef & Arpels model displayed rubelites, opals and diamonds. Very opulent. Very tastefully Van Cleef. Very apropos!
Then it is up the to the University Club. There was a 'Tour Eiffel' ice sculpture in the reception area... and there were more over-the-top Van Cleef jewels displayed on beautiful models.
Champagne was sipped, a Parisian styled singer accompanied by piano entertained. All were wowed by the red and black decor created by the Symphony Sweethearts led by Lori Walton. Lori joked that her dress matched the decor perfectly!
Among the many there enjoying the festivities were Honorary Chairs Joan and Irwin Jacobs, they just celebrated another happy anniversary, Iris and Matthew Strauss, and the Grosvenors.
The Grosvenors there included matriarch Rachel Grosvenor, Event Chairs Joyce and Craig Grosvenor, and their statuesque teenager, model Dakota Grosvenor.
More there included Evva and Mike Fenison, David Copley, Andrew Shelton, Judith Harris and Dr. Robert Singer, Audrey Geisel and Alex Butterfield, Sheryl and Harvey White, Valerie and Harry Cooper, Annika and Gordon Kovtun, Lori and Bill Walton, and Lael and Jay Kovtun.
The University Club's Executive Chef Eric Mauritzen and culinary team turned on the Micheline Guide 'esprit' with such savory items as Grilled Bone In Filet with Truffled Potato Pave & Bordelaise Sauce, and Coq au Vin Chicken with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and red wine braising jus.
The evening continued with stellar guest performances by soprano Kathleen Battle and French pianist Jean Yves Thibaudet. World renown in their artistic fields, their performances were conducted by the Symphony’s Music Director Jahja Ling. Gabriel Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1 and Maurice Ravel’s Boléro were among the selections performed.
With a thunderous standing ovation after the concert, the San Diego Symphony, California's oldest orchestra in California took their bows.
And them the party continued.
Guests whisked back up to the University Club for a rocking party that went well past midnight.
Desserts, 'gambling' tables, and VIP meet and greets with Kathleen Battle were some of the highlights.
And this is just the start for the 2011-2012 season with the theme “Celebrate 100 and Beyond.”
Fashion Standouts: Sheryl White in Kaufman Franco, Valerie Cooper in Jenny Packham, Joyce Grosvenor and Dakota Grosvenor in Escada Couture, Iris Strauss in Oscar de la Renta, Lori Walton in Parisian-esque lace overlay, Lael Kovtun in Badgley Mischka, Evva Fenison in Canadian designer Ross Mayer, Joan Jacobs in sapphire blue, and Judith Harris in a very 'zippy' and body hugging number by Rick Owens.
Dakota Grosvenor with her parents, Event Chairs Craig and Joyce Grosvenor
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Enjoy the Photos!
Craig Grosvenor being the family paparazzi
Craig Grosvenor with Patti and Clay Cooke, and Joyce Grosvenor, all having a great laugh
Brent Nestor of Van Cleef & Arpels with Craig Grosvenor
A beautiful Rubelite, Diamonds and Opal Parure with accompanying jewels...
The very talented string quartet played as guests arrived to the Symphony Towers
Scott Johnston getting flashed by the Paparazzi
University Club's Ice Sculpture Display of the Tour Eiffel
One of the 'Rainforest Collection' by Van Cleef & Arpels
A plentitude of exquisite aquamarines and diamonds by Van Cleef & Arpels with a style evoking the 1920's
The Tour Eiffel Ice Sculpture at the entrance to the University Club
Parisian music in the 'Salon'
Amazing jewels by Van Cleef & Arpel
Lael and Jay Kovtun, longtime supporters of the San Diego Symphony
Above and Below, Harvey and Sheryl White
Sheryl White's pretty evening sandals .... because she wasn't tall enough!
Above and Below, Mike and Evva Fenison
Mike and Evva Fenison
Annika and Gordon Kovtun
Lori and Bill Walton
Sheryl White with friend
Annika Kovtun with Scott Johnston
A beautiful 'Parisian' Display
Pat and Tom Rice
Kyle Hapgood serving up the smooth libations
Audrey Geisel and Alex Butterfield ** Debbie Turner
Andrew Shelton with Dr. Robert Singer... when Robert talks, everyone listens.....
Harry and Valerie Cooper
David Copley with Andrew Shelton
Iris Strauss and Joan Jacobs
Valerie Cooper with Iris Strauss, and Honorary Chairs, Irwin and Joan Jacobs
Harry Cooper with Harvey White and Conrad Prebys
Valerie and Harry Cooper with MES, and Debbie Turner and Conrad Prebys
Brent Nestor making sure the Van Cleef necklace is just right ..... oh it is Brent!!
The Van Cleef & Arpel models
Valerie Cooper talking about her latest Dow Diva trip to London....
Harry and Valerie Cooper with Brent Nestor
Pat Brown with Vic Salazar
Margo Schwab with Harry and Valerie Cooper
reported and photographed by Margo Schwab
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