Classical music met contemporary art during the Vivaldi Patron Circle's fourth annual Mid Winters Evening, at Stay ZaZa Art House & Social Gallery. An unexpected modern backdrop with illuminated art was just the kind of setting we'd hoped for at the soiree for the young professionals of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
More than 60 young sophisticates — including Rich Kaplan, Matthew Prescott, Ted Smith, Haylee Dallas, Rachel Brooks, Kevin Norfleet, Eric Dupont, Alia Reneirs, Linda Snorina and Sinan Gurman — sipped on bubbly and noshed on savory bites while surveying the room and chatting with like-minded peers.
"This September will be the fifth year for the DSO Gala after party," said Jose Reyes, member of Vivaldi Patron steering committee. "More than 600 people were in attendance last year. It has been monumental in drawing a younger audience to the symphony."
Halfway through the fete all, eyes were on Nick Weege, senior manager of donor advancement at the DSO. He thanked Hotel ZaZa, media sponsor CultureMap Dallas, honorary chairs Kimberly and Justin Whitman, and special guest Nicola Benedetti for making the lovely night a great success.
Then Weege introduced director of artistic operations, Aldert Vermeulen, to lead a question-and-answer dialogue with Bendetti, the beautiful Scottish soloist and BBC Musician of the Year award recipient.
"Classical music is so profound that it belongs to everyone," Bendetti said.
When asked about how she stays inspired, Bendetti responded, "If something is great, it'll always feel new. I'm in the profession of interpreting what some of the greatest minds wrote. It can never be boring."
After the Whitmans reflected on their experiences at the symphony — including their wedding — guests Myrna and Bob Schlegel, Kara Rafferty, David Sywak, Lisa Streidl, David Wilkins, and Carl Ginsberg indulged in more vino and mini sweet cakes and continued to work the room.