Guests in their gala best stepped out for the San Francisco Symphony’s highly anticipated Opening Night Gala. The event, co-chaired by James Hormel and Michael Nguyen-Hormel, marks the beginning of the 2018-19 season for symphony supporters citywide. Conducted by beloved music director Michael Tilson Thomas, the concert selection included the sounds of legendary featured violinist Itzhak Perlman, along with students of the esteemed Perlman Music Program.
Guests indulged in the Symphonix Dinner, the Symphony Supper, the Wattis Room Dinner and, most exclusive of all, the Patrons’ Dinner in the tented pavilion. Patrons’ Dinner guests enjoyed a delicious three-course feast filled with delicacies like a golden egg with caviar and brassicas, earthy mushroom duxelles crusted halibut and herbed prawn, and to finish off on a sweet note, a rich mosaic of chocolate and berry pavlova.
The epic meal was paired with a Hafner Vineyard 2014 Chardonnay from Alexander Valley. After marveling at the three orchestra showpieces — Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, An American in Paris and Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1 — guests were treated to an after party in the tented pavilion on Grove St. There were more refreshments from Nightbird and Salt and Straw (among many others) while enjoying more live music from The Cheeseballs and DJL!
Proceeds from the Opening Night Gala are dedicated to benefiting the symphony’s multitude of artistic, educational and community based programs. Notable chairs spotted looking proud amongst the crowd were: Honorary chair Diane B. Wilsey, after party chair Catherine Geeslin, Symphonix Dinner chairs Kevin Yeh, Catherine Meng, Ariel Anaya and Jerica Lee, Symphony Supper chairs Ellie Polak and Andrea Palmer, and Wattis Room Dinner chair Ann Paras.