“Perhaps of all arts, music is the one that can sidestep language,” said Ralph Fiennes, before a crowd of 160 dinner guests at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Oct. 30. “Music reaches straight to the soul, putting borders and political and national differences out of focus. Music, I believe, is the great healer. It’s the great unifier.”
It’s the sentiment behind “Arts, Excellence + Friendship,” the Concert and Gala presented by the Segerstrom Family and South Coast Plaza with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th anniversary.
A luxe black, white and gold color scheme accented with all-white cascading Phalaenopsis orchids greeted guests arriving at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and continued indoors at the gala dinner.
Movers, shakers, royals and stars all lent eclectic glamour to the evening: Ralph, of course, Dame Helen Mirren with director Taylor Hackford, Princess Michael of Kent, Prince Hugo Veriand Windisch-Graetz, Prince Charles Windisch-Graetz, Frank Gehry, Plácido Domingo, Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan, LVHM chairman and CEO Anish Melwani, Richemont North American CEO and president Daniel Mawicke, Stella McCartney America president President Ida Simonsen, Macy’s executive chairman Terry Lundgren, Forbes vice chairman Christopher Forbes, Assouline founders Prosper and Martine Assouline (publishers of the upcoming book, “South Coast Plaza”), Elizabeth Segerstrom, Ruth Ann Moriarty and Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom.
Maestro Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra performed Richard Strauss’ Don Juan and Ein Heldenleben and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The audience gave the