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Black Tie International:
The "Gift of Music" Gala

Darren and Marina Schlanger, OSL Board Chairman Norman Benzaquen, and Judy Zankel.  Photo Courtesy Orchestra of St. Luke’s,

Darren and Marina Schlanger, OSL Board Chairman Norman Benzaquen, and Judy Zankel.  Photo Courtesy Orchestra of St. Luke’s,
credit Lioudmila Koudinova


 The “Gift of Music” Gala


On Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) honored
Mikhail Baryshnikov, John S. Tamagni, Hugh Hardy & H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture and The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group at its annual gala at The Plaza Hotel. The honorees were presented with OSL’s “Gift of Music“ award at the event for their role in the realization of The DiMenna Center for Classical Music—OSL’s first official home and a vital new resource for rehearsal, recording and learning in New York City.

With the new DiMenna Center located in the same building as The Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), the partnership forged between Mikhail Baryshnikov and BAC was essential to turn OSL’s home into a truly multidisciplinary arts complex that meets the diverse needs of New York City's artistic community. The success of The DiMenna Center also would not have been possible without the guidance of Jack Tamagni, a longtime OSL board member who led the Building Committee and successfully steered OSL through the purchase, renovation and opening of its first home. Hugh Hardy & H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture’s visionary design transformed The DiMenna Center from a concrete shell into a state-of-the-art music facility. The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, a philanthropic supporter of OSL’s Arts Education programs, helped OSL secure a New Markets Tax Credit transaction resulting in a cash infusion of $4.6 million for The DiMenna Center.

The gala featured performances by guest artists soprano Christine Brewer and Canadian conductor Julian Kuerti. Renowned for her interpretations of aria and art songs alike, the Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer performed a selection of music that highlighted her wide-ranging repertoire. Kuerti, one of the world’s top conducting talents to emerge in recent years, led OSL in Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and Symphony No. 32, along with a selection of Strauss waltzes—a signature feature of OSL galas.

Gala décor was designed by OSL board member David Monn, known for events such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute gala.

Exceeding Orchestra of St. Luke’s goal, the “Gift of Music” Gala raised $650,000 to help support St. Luke’s performance and education programs and The DiMenna Center for Classical Music.

About Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Now in its 36th year, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s foremost and most versatile ensembles. Dedicated to engaging audiences throughout New York City and beyond, OSL performs approximately 75 orchestral, chamber and educational concerts each year—including an annual chamber music series at The Morgan Library & Museum, Brooklyn Museum and Dia:Beacon and an orchestra series at Carnegie Hall. OSL is also Orchestra-in-Residence at Caramoor International Music Festival. OSL collaborates regularly with the world’s great artists, such as Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Anna Netrebko, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mark Morris Dance Group, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Elton John and many more. In March 2011, OSL opened The DiMenna Center for Classical Music—its first permanent home, and New York City’s first rehearsal and recording facility dedicated to classical music. Committed to community-building, OSL produces free concerts in each of the five boroughs and has engaged more than one million children through its arts education programs. OSL’s stellar 70+ discography includes four acclaimed releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection, and four Grammy Award-winning recordings. For OSL’s calendar of events, tickets and more information, visit

About Christine Brewer, soprano
Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer's appearances in opera, concert and recital are marked with her own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. Highlights of Christine Brewer's 2010-11 season include performances with the Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, and St. Louis symphonies, the Royal Concertgebouw, and the Cincinnati May Festival. In addition to her many appearances at Carnegie and Wigmore Halls, Ms. Brewer has graced Lincoln Center's "Art of the Song" series at Alice Tully Hall and the stages of the Kennedy Center, Spivey Hall, the Concertgebouw, and the Mondavi Center. Her unique voice has been featured at the Gilmore, Ravinia, and Cleveland Art Song festivals. 

On the opera stage, Ms. Brewer is highly regarded for her striking portrayal of the title role in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, which she has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Théâtre du Châtelet, Santa Fe Opera, English National Opera, and Opera Theater of St. Louis. Additional roles, each garnering critical acclaim, include Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Gluck's Alceste, the Dyer's Wife in Strauss's Die Frau Ohne Schatten, and Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring. Ms. Brewer has sung with the New York, Los Angeles, London and Malaysia philharmonics; the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston, and Dallas; the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre de Paris, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and many others. Her numerous recordings include the Janáček Glagolitic Mass and Dvořák Te Deum with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Telarc); two recital recordings entitled "Saint Louis Woman" and "Music for a While,"; and a live recital disc from Wigmore Hall (Koch).

About Julian Kuerti, conductor
One of the most significant conducting talents to emerge in recent years, Canadian conductor Julian Kuerti has quickly made a name for himself with his confident style and passion for musical collaboration. He has led numerous orchestras across North America including the Boston, Houston, Montreal, Toronto, Colorado, Cincinnati and Utah symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In the 2010/11 season, Mr. Kuerti debuts with the Atlanta, Seattle, New Jersey, Vancouver, Rochester, Toledo and Quebec symphonies; the Los Angeles and St. Paul chamber orchestras; and with New York City Opera. Mr. Kuerti recently completed his post as assistant conductor to James Levine at the Boston Symphony and made his BSO subscription debut in 2008 with Leon Fleischer as soloist. In 2009 Mr. Kuerti led a Tanglewood performance with Yo-Yo Ma and returned to the BSO for an all-Russian program and as substitute for part of James Levine’s all-Beethoven cycle, leading the Third and Fourth symphonies. Son of famed pianist Anton Kuerti, he began his training on the violin and was later accepted to the renowned Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Maine. Mr. Kuerti also studied with David Zinman at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and with Jorma Panula at the NAC Conductors Programme in Ottawa. In 2005, he was one of two conducting fellows at Tanglewood, where he took masterclasses with Mr. Levine, Kurt Masur, Stefan Asbury and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Mr. Kuerti served as assistant conductor to Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra during the 2006/07 season. From 2005 to 2008, he was founding artistic director and principal conductor of Berlin’s Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop.



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