THE PARTY The National Symphony Orchestra hosted an extravagant, Italian-themed soiree to celebrate their new Music Director, Gianandrea Noseda. As one of the world’s most revered conductors, Maestro Nosedo was welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd for his inaugural performance featuring solos by Yo-Yo Ma and Tony-award winning vocalist Cynthia Erivo. 925 guests joined in the pre-concert happy hour and post-concert dinner with a menu inspired by Emmy Award-winning television host, Lidia Bastianich. The feast included an antipasta plate of whipped ricotta, compressed melon with basil and proscuitto, panzanella and then the main course of a stunning, 100-layer lasagna. While guests dined, performers from Quixotic performed gravity-defying arial acts in the spirit of an Italian Carnevale.
THE PEOPLE Maestro Noseda and his wife Lucia sat amongst Gala co-chairs Earl W. and Amanda Stafford of event sponsor Centene. Honorary diplomatic chairs included His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy and Mrs. Armando Varricchio. Other VIPs from across the arts and Washington included Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter, Artistic Advisors Yo-Yo Ma and Renee Fleming, and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock.
BEST IN SHOW The evening raised $2 million for the Kennedy Center’s programs and performances, including an education initiative to bring public school students to experience the magic of live music at the Kennedy Center.
Photography by Nick Klein