LA Phil Gala Planning

LA Phil Gala Planning Committee Anticipates the Blues


Judging from the conversations when committee members met to choose the menu for the Sept. 27 LA Phil Gala, there will be more than a few blue gowns at Walt Disney Concert Hall on the big night. As the soiree has been christened, “Rhapsody in Blue,” several women said they planned to dress in harmony with the theme.   

“We expect to see an ocean of blue dresses,” said Joan Hotchkis. “Retro is so much in style now that some women will also dress in the period of the music.”  Hotchkis is co-chair, along with David Bohnett, of the LA Phil Gala — one of the season’s most significant – and fun – annual events.

 An all-Gershwin concert will feature jazz legend Herbie Hancock on the piano and Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil’s music director, conducting George Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture,” “An American in Paris,” and of course, “Rhapsody in Blue.”

LA Phil gala planning officially began in May with a cocktail party at the home of Joan and John Hotchkis, where committee members, major donors and other special guests met to discuss upcoming festivities. 

More recently on Aug. 25, committee members met at Disney Hall’s Founders Room to insure the post-concert dinner will please discriminating palates. There, they sampled six different hors d’oeuvres, four appetizers, four entrees and three desserts, all prepared by Joachim Splichal of Patina and his team of chefs.  Between bites, the group weighed the merits of the various contenders for each course.

Are the hors d’oeuvres an appropriate size for a person holding a drink? Are the multi-colored root vegetables – attractive though they may be – as tasty as the broccoli timbale? And if the dessert choice includes ice cream, will it melt while people are on the dance floor? (This Gala attracts a dancing crowd.)

And, how important is it, after all, to adhere to the theme – namely, if the music derives from the early twentieth century, should the dinner recall the same time period? The consensus: No. Guests have twenty-first century tastes, after all.

On the gala committee list: Maria Bell, Lynn Booth, Carey Cullinane, Margaret Eberhardt, Jane Eisner, Kimberly Marteau Emerson, Lenore Greenberg, Joyce Kresa, Ginny Mancini, Soraya Sarah Nazarian, Ann Ronus, Carla Sands, Nancy Sanders, Sutton Stracke, Alan Vorwald and Alyce Williamson. Eloisa Maturen Dudamel and Gigi Hancock are honorary chairs with the Hotchkises, David Bohnett and Tom Gregory as chairs. 

Rolex is Gala sponsor.

To read more details of the LA Phil gala planning, you’ll find my LA Times story for “Culture Monster” here.

Photos, from top: Gala co-chair Joan Hotchkis, left, and Lynn Booth; With chef Andreas Roller in the background, Rob Carson of Patina Catering serves, from left, Ginny Mancini, Lenore Greenberg and Ann Ronus. In the gallery below, more pictures from the tasting.

Note: This event has taken place since this article was writen – to read details, click here.



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LA Phil Gala Planning

Published Sept. 6, 2011 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA