Spotted: Opera Star Ailyn Pérez, Flute legends Lady Jeanne Galway & Sir James Galway, Lydia Kontos & More At Kaufman Music Center’s 2018 Gala

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Flute legends Lady Jeanne Galway and Sir James Galway — Photo: John Johansen

Kaufman Music Center’s 2018 Gala honored the legacy of long-time Kaufman Music Center Executive Director Lydia Kontos and raised nearly $1 million in support of Kaufman’s music education programs. The event took place on Monday, May 14, at Guastavino’s in New York City.

Kaufman Music Center’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ms. Kontos, who will retire this fall after nearly 40 years at the Center’s helm, in recognition of her distinguished career as a champion of music education and performance. Read about Ms. Kontos’s retirement: http://www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/kc/article/lydia-kontos-to-retire-in-fall-2018/

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Lydia Kontos, Executive Director, Kaufman Music Center (recipient of Kaufman Music Center’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award); opera star Ailyn Pérez (roles this season: Juliette in Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera, Marguerite in Faust at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Violetta in La Traviata at Staatsoper Berlin & Opernhaus Zurich. Next season: Mimi in La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera and Alice in Falstaff at the Metropolitan Opera). Photo: Christos Katsiaouni

The Gala also featured stunning performances by flute legends Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway, opera superstar Ailyn Pérez, and young virtuosos from Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School (M. 859) and Lucy Moses School.

Gala guests had the opportunity to bid on unique and highly personal experiences, including: A private culinary experience with chef Jonathan Kava; luxurious getaways to Sanibel Island, FL and the Hudson Valley; and tickets to the Broadway shows “My Fair Lady” and “Frozen.”

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12th grade vocal majors at Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School (M. 859) with opera star Ailyn Pérez (roles this season: Juliette inRoméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera, Marguerite in Faust at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Violetta in La Traviata at Staatsoper Berlin & Opernhaus Zurich. Next season: Mimi in La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera and Alice in Falstaff at the Metropolitan Opera). Photo: Christos Katsiaouni

Gala Chairs Elaine and Henry Kaufman, Bethany and Robert B. Millard, Christina and Lawrence Wee and the Assurant Foundation and Gala Vice-Chairs are Rosalind Devon and Sanford L. Batkin and Cathy and John O’Rourke were joined by a veritable “Who’s Who” of area and national business leaders, acclaimed actors and performers, and philanthropists including conductor David Robertson, MacArthur “Genius” and Artistic Director/Founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City Francisco J. Núñez, pianist Orli Shaham, Man Made Music leader Joel Beckerman, Robert Millard (Chairman, MIT), Wendy Mosler (Global Holdings Management Group), Lawrence Wee (Paul, Weiss), Nina Kontos (Google), David Klafter (Pershing Square Capital Management), Mark Rambler (Credibility Capital), and Dick Beattie

Kaufman Music Center’s annual Gala benefits the Center’s Fund for Music Education, which helps thousands of children access high-level instruction in music, theater and dance.

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Lydia Kontos, Executive Director, Kaufman Music Center (recipient of Kaufman Music Center’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award) with flute students from Kaufman Music Center. Photo: Christos Katsiaouni

The Fund supports the extensive music curriculum at Kaufman’s K-12 public school for musically gifted children (Special Music School), provides scholarships to underprivileged students at Manhattan’s largest community arts school (Lucy Moses School) and creates opportunities for children in New York City’s neediest schools to enjoy musical theater performances.

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Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought out journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food and more! Based out of NYC.

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