L.A. and the Philharmonic Play Carnegie


The cheering squad for the Los Angeles Philharmonic is partying in Manhattan, here to root for the home team when it plays at the opening for Carnegie Hall's centennial season tonight.

Some 40 Philharmonic supporters have traveled East for the concert and gala. Considering that some New Yorkers don't acknowledge any life forms west of the Hudson River, the invitation to the L.A. orchestra to play at this major celebration for the 100-year landmark is considered quite a coup for the Philharmonic.

A two-day series of social events started Tuesday morning with a breakfast at Christie's Auction House. Members of the L.A. contingent met in the main auction hall where half a dozen tables were set with bowls of fruit salad, bagels and interesting centerpieces--well over $1 million in jewelry from an upcoming sale.

"I went straight to the jewels--I didn't even notice the paintings on the wall," said Lynn Beyer, wife of Philharmonic board president Stanley Beyer.

The artwork included a Miro, a Rothko and a Van Gogh, but all were upstaged by the multicarat gems.

Gazing at or trying on the merchandise were Robert and Jo Kroger, Joanna Carson, Ginny Mancini, Donna Mariash, Terry Herst and her mother Sylvia Ginsberg and Diane Downey.

Of jewels and the city, Angeleno Jennifer Diener, there with husband Royce, said: "I don't wear anything real when I'm walking on the street in New York. I'll carry it with me and put it on when I get to where I'm going."

After breakfast the group boarded a bus to view a private art collection, then met up again that evening with some New Yorkers for a cocktail party for friends and colleagues of Carnegie Hall at Gracie Mansion, the mayor's residence.

"Carnegie Hall not only has a history, it is history," said New York Mayor David Dinkins as he mopped his brow. "It is unthinkable that in our lifetime, the splendors of Carnegie were almost lost to the wrecker's ball.

"But, thanks to the efforts of a very dedicated group of musicians and music lovers, who banded together to rescue it, Carnegie Hall did not go the way of the old Penn Station."

Angelenos aren't the only ones pleased that the L.A. Philharmonic is playing opening night.

"They're a fine orchestra and represent the best in American music," said James Wolfensohn, chairman of the board of Carnegie Hall and co-chairman, with Sanford Weill, of the centennial.

Also on hand at the reception were Philharmonic managing director Ernest Fleischmann, Carnegie Hall executive director Judith Aarons and developer John Tishman.

After the mayor posed for pictures and raced off for a 7 p.m. radio show, the L.A. crowd evaporated, ready to converge today for a lunch at Bice, cocktails at composer Hal David's home, the concert and black-tie gala.

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