March 9, 2016
NWS Galas: A Brief History
New World Symphony celebrated its first “gala” following the World Premiere Concert on February 4, 1988, the after-party for the 'inauguration' of the orchestra. Note: Lady Valerie Solti was co-chair - wife of famed conductor Sir Georg Solti, and an early supporter of NWS.
The First Anniversary Gala was held in February 1989, and featured the legendary singer Ray Charles as guest performer.
Throughout the 1990s, varied popular performers of the times joined MTT and patrons to celebrate the annual fundraising event. These stars included Gloria Estefan, Maureen McGovern, Judy Collins, Dudley Moore, Mel Tormé, and Tyne Daly.
More recently, famed Broadway star Audra McDonald appeared at the gala celebrating the grand opening of the New World Center in January 2011. And opera diva Jessye Norman performed at the 2014 gala, The Art of the Possible.
Famous celebrity attendees in the past have included such NWS supporters as singer Barry Gibb (of the Bee Gees), ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov, actress Sharon Gless, actor Christian Slater, NWS Board member Emilio Estefan and Gloria Estefan.
Before moving into the New World Center, NWS usually held its galas at big hotels around Miami. Exceptions included the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner in 2004, the Arsht (then Carnival) Center in 2007, and the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center in downtown Miami in 2009. And Saturday will continue a tradition of having guest New World Symphony alumni perform at the gala, having done so at about eight previous events.
Photos courtesy of the New World Symphony Archives