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Maestro’s Wine Dinner & Collector’s Auction: A moveable feast…in the Garden of Dionysus

More than 200 patrons enjoyed one of the Houston Symphony’s most popular annual events, the Maestro’s Wine Dinner and Collector’s Auction, an intimate progressive dinner that ended the evening on the picturesque Jones Hall stage. This year’s Chairs Judy and Scott Nyquist ensured that it would be the most successful Wine Dinner to date! Wine Auction Chairmen Tom Nichols, M.D., and Robert T. Sakowitz mingled among the guests pointing out the choice wines up for bid, as they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres that included gulf shrimp spring rolls, brie and pear in brioche, seared beef Carpaccio and phyllo cups with avocado & mango, paired with champagne.

Patrons perused the extensive selection of fine and vintage wines up for auction before dinner. Guests were greeted with delectable offerings by Jackson and Company throughout the night with wine pairings by Dinner Wine Chairmen Lindy and John Rydman, and their daughter, Lisa Rydman Key, of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods. A savory vichyssoise, paired with La Vigne d’Argent Bordeaux Blanc was a flavorful precursor to the spinach mousse-filled artichoke, topped with lump gulf crab and diced tomato, accompanied by passed flatbreads. Villamont Meursault served as the perfect accompaniment to this course. The tasteful floral arrangements and décor by Bergner & Johnson helped set the tone for the sophisticated evening.

Following the first portion of dinner in the Encore Café on the Jones Hall Mezzanine, was an enchanting performance by Chloé Trevor, critically acclaimed violinist and 2008 Silver Medalist in the Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition. For their final courses, Symphony patrons were then led to the stage of Jones Hall for dinner where they enjoyed a Brace of stuffed Quail entrée with baton carrots, haricots verts and yeast rolls, expertly paired with Château la Pointe Pomerol, 2008, and Ampelos Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Dessert included various cheeses, fruit, Marcona almonds and walnut toasts paired with an elegant Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos. Throughout the event, Symphony Music Director and wine aficionado Hans Graf, expertly offered his thoughts on the wine selections, while Marie Bosarge entertained a group of special guests at the Maestro’s Imperiale Table. She and her husband, Dr. Ed Bosarge will soon have the opportunity to enjoy a future private dinner in the wine cellar of Dr. Devinder and Gina Bhatia, where the Maestro will decant his Imperiale Bottle of the Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac 1990 to be shared by some of their closest friends.

A special toast to Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, given by Symphony Executive Director/CEO Mark Hanson, provided a grand finale to a spectacular feast for the senses and acknowledged the couple for their exemplary leadership and exceptional contributions to the Houston Symphony, including their extraordinary $1 million gift to the Houston Symphony’s Sustainability Campaign. They were presented a gift of 24-carat gold and crystal glasses, graciously underwritten by Christofle.

The overall event raised more than $270,000, with the Collector’s Auction alone bringing in over $40,000. These funds benefit the Houston Symphony’s Music Matters! Education and Outreach program, which support the Ima Hogg Competition. The Competition began in honor of Miss Ima Hogg, a founder of the Houston Symphony and the Houston Symphony League. Awarded the Gold Ribbon First Prize in Education from the League of American Orchestras in 2002, this 37-year-old competition is considered one of the most prestigious multi-instrumentalist competitions in the orchestral world.

GUESTS: 

Rita Graf, Marie Bosarge, Jan Barrow, Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel, Darlene and Cappy Bisso, Nancy and Bob Peiser, Dr. Richard & Susan Stasney, Jesse & Betty Tutor, The Honorable Peter Brown, Patrick and Greggory Burk, Audrey and Brandon Cochran, Lynn and Thierry Caruso, Connie Coulomb and Mauro Gimenez, Gene and Linda Dewhurst, Susanna Dokupil, The Honorable Jennifer Elrod, Ron & Demi Rand, Kathy and Paul Mann, Carolyn and Mike Mann, Lisa and Jerry Simon, David Frankfurt and Erika Bermeo, Eileen and George Hricik, Steve and Joella Mach, Lisa and Russell Sherill, Ann and Karl Stern, Saul and Paolo Valente, Dawnia Willis

PHOTO CREDIT: Jenny Antill