NEW YORK — A grand evening in New York City on Monday brought together America’s business, cultural and social elite honoring Orange County visionary Henry Segerstrom.
The occasion celebrated the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence bestowed upon Segerstrom, who attended the gala escorting his chic bride, Elizabeth, and joined by extended family along with more than 100 Newport-Mesa guests who had flown in for the evening.
The medal was presented to Segerstrom, developer of South Coast Plaza and founding chairman of the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, by former Carnegie honoree Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s Inc. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed June 7 as “Segerstrom Center for the Arts Day” in the city.
Recognized for outstanding leadership in arts philanthropy, Segerstrom has forged a unique relationship with Carnegie Hall working with the renowned executive and artistic director Clive Gillenson. In fall 2009 that partnership created a programming schedule billed as “Ancient Paths, Modern Voices,” which brought Chinese culture from New York’s Carnegie stage to the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa in conjunction with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, led by Dean Corey. It was the first time Carnegie Hall festival programming had ventured forth outside of New York City.
This year, debuting in October 2010, the partnership will bring to Orange County audiences a program billed as JapanOC, a close cousin of JapanNYC at Carnegie Hall focusing on the vibrant array of both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture.
The success of the continuing venture was celebrated by more than 350 guests attending the black-tie evening on the Starlight Roof at The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on tony Park Avenue. Former CitiCorp and Smith Barney Shearson American Express chairman Sanford Weill, who also serves as chairman of The Carnegie Hall Foundation, and his beautiful wife, Joan, wearing an elegant and classic shimmering grey cocktail suit welcomed the Segerstrom family and their California guests. Actor Michael York and his wife, Pat, Hollywood director Billy Friedkin and his wife, former chairwoman of Paramount Pictures Sherry Lansing, telecommunications czar Irwin Jacobs and his, wife, Joan along with family members Hal, Lindsey and Deborah, restaurateur Elizabeth An, Gordon Clune and the ultra glamorous Gwendolyn Meyer wearing an exquisite copper-colored flowing satin gown under a floor-length-coordinated evening coat were all front and center for Henry Segerstrom.
Also turning out to support Henry and Elizabeth were Susan Pack, Pamela Hoefflin, Judy Zankel, Laura Pomerantz, Bruno Laguardia, Lucia Hwong Gordon and co-chairs of the evening in from Orange County Gloria and R.J. Brandes, chairman of Belgravia Capital Corporation/JMB Realty Corp.
The entertainment for the celebration came from world-renowned opera star Denyce Graves. Maestro Valery Gergiev served as chair for the honorary artists committee that included the high-profile contributions of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Joshua Bell, Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Frank Gehry, Lang Lang, Helmut Jahn, Charles Lawrence, Anna Netrebko, I.M. Pei, Cesar Pelli, Richard Serra and Robert Wilson, all of whom have been associated with Henry Segerstrom over many years in different capacities.
Also spotted in the crowd were Tim Jessell, Dean and Kaly Corey, Moira Kamgar, Linda and Alan Beimfohr, Sabra Bordas, Michelle Rohe, Zee Allred and Drago Gligic, Debra Gunn Downing and Henry Segerstrom’s daughter Andrea Grant.