• Thursday, Mar 29, 2012

    Bill Cunningham to Receive Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence at Nearly Sold Out Benefit Dinner on Monday, April 23 at the Waldorf=Astoria

    Tickets Still Available for Gala After-Party Featuring DJ Cassidy
    On Monday, April 23, photojournalist Bill Cunningham will receive the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence at a black tie gala benefit dinner at The Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. The award recognizes Mr. Cunningham’s extraordinary devotion to chronicling fashion for nearly fifty years, as well as his role in inspiring great philanthropy, recognizing the important place that arts, culture, and non-profit causes hold in the life of New York City. The April 23 gala will include a private cocktail reception in the Waldorf=Astoria’s Rotunda at the Park Avenue Entrance and dinner in the Empire Ballroom, followed by a brief program and award ceremony. Following the dinner, celebrations will continue at an After-Party hosted by Carnegie Hall’s first-ever Junior Committee in the Vanderbilt Ballroom.

    Mr. Sanford I. Weill, Chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees, and Mrs. Joan Weill are proud to serve as the event’s Honorary Gala Chairs. Annette and Oscar de la Renta, and Sarah Jessica Parker are Gala Chairs. Mercedes T. Bass, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, and 2008 Medal of Excellence Honoree Terry J. Lundgren and Tina Lundgren, and 2010 Medal of Excellence Honoree Henry T. Segerstrom and Elizabeth Segerstrom serve as Gala Co-Chairs. World-renowned tenor Vittorio Grigolo is set to perform as part of this tribute which supports the music education and community programs of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute.

    Mr. Cunningham’s longtime employer, The New York Times, recently joined the event as Gala Lead Sponsor.

    At this time, tickets to the gala dinner are limited, however, reservations are still being accepted for the Gala After-Party. This chic post-dinner after-party will begin at approximately 9:00 p.m., featuring the talents of DJ Cassidy and hosted by Junior Committee Members including James G. Brooks, Jr., Lee Hallman, Lara Meiland-Shaw and Claude Shaw, and Sarina Sassoon Sanandaji and Kasra Sanandaji. To purchase $250 tickets to the event’s after-party, please contact the Gala Office at 212-903-9679 or email specialevents@carnegiehall.org.

    About Bill Cunningham
    For more than fifty years, Bill Cunningham has dedicated his life to chronicling American fashion trends on film, all the while bringing invaluable exposure to many remarkable philanthropic organizations and causes. Currently a photographer for The New York Times, Mr. Cunningham runs two columns that celebrate the vibrant landscape of New York City life. Both “Evening Hours” and “On the Street” have long served as staples in the Fashion & Style sections of the Times, featuring his images on a weekly basis.

    Mr. Cunningham moved to New York in 1948, initially working in advertising and soon after designing hats under the name “William J.” He then was drafted and served a tour in the U.S. Army, after which he returned to New York and began writing for the Chicago Tribune. During his years as a writer, he contributed significantly to fashion journalism, helping to introduce American audiences to Azzedine Alaïa and Jean-Paul Gaultier. While working at the Tribune and at Women's Wear Daily, he began taking photographs of fashion on the streets of New York. As the result of a chance photograph of Greta Garbo, he published a group of his impromptu pictures in The New York Times in December 1978, which soon became a regular column. Mr. Cunningham continues to photograph people daily on the streets of Manhattan and at various philanthropic fundraisers throughout the city. In 2008, he was awarded the title Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

    About the Event Artists
    Born in Arezzo, Italy, Vittorio Grigolo is the quintessential Italian tenor. He began his vocal career 20 years ago as a soloist in the Sistine Chapel Choir; at 35, he is considered one of the finest tenors of his generation. He has performed principal tenor roles in the world’s most prestigious opera houses, and has received critical acclaim for both his vocal and acting talents. Mr. Grigolo has a repertoire that includes more than 20 operas. In 2010, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Rodolfo in La bohème, and he returns to the company as the Duke of Mantua in April 2013. Mr. Grigolo has been honored with a number of awards, including the prestigious ECHO Klassik Newcomer of the Year award in 2011. Highlights of the current season include appearances at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and at La Scala in Milan, along with a European concert tour in which Mr. Grigolo showcases his award-winning album The Italian Tenor as well as his new album, titled Arrivederci (both of which were released by Sony Classical).

    The iconic deejay in music, fashion, media, and nightlife, DJ Cassidy is one of the most sought-after deejays in his industry. Cassidy's personal celebrity client list includes President Barack Obama, OprahWinfrey, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Anna Wintour, Tommy Hilfiger, LeBron James, Hugh Hefner, Tina Turner, Jermaine Dupri,Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Nas, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell Williams, L.A. Reid, LL Cool J, The Black Eyed Peas, Kim Kardashian, and Naomi Campbell. In addition to his long list of celebrity clients, DJ Cassidy routinely performs for many fashion, music, and media companies including Louis Vuitton, Victoria's Secret, Hugo Boss, Tory Burch, Patricia Field, Nike, The Gap, Audemars Piguet, Lorraine Schwartz, MTV, Sony, Island Def Jam, Warner Music Group, Sports Illustrated, and Vogue. Cassidy also performs regularly at the hottest nightclubs around the world from New York to Los Angeles, Miami to Las Vegas, St. Barths to St. Tropez, Paris to London, Tokyo to Dubai. DJ Cassidy has gained worldwide acclaim for electrifying crowds through his unique capacity to effortlessly blend musical genres no matter the crowd or setting. His clients not only rely on him to capture sounds that are hot and cutting-edge, but also those that are classic and timeless. Drawing on all forms of music including hip hop, house, soul, rock n' roll, reggae, and more, Cassidy continues to astound audiences with his uncanny ability to connect musically to everyone within his reach.

    About Carnegie Hall
    Since 1891, New York City's Carnegie Hall has set the international standard for excellence in performance. Its walls have echoed with applause for the world's outstanding classical music artists, as they have for the greatest popular musicians and many prominent dancers, authors, social crusaders, and world figures who have appeared on its stages.

    Today, the venue remains a preeminent concert hall and a vital, active cultural destination for performers and audiences. Carnegie Hall presents more than 170 performances by the world's finest artists each season on its three great stages—the renowned Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, intimate Weill Recital Hall, and innovative Zankel Hall—with offerings ranging from orchestral concerts, chamber music, and solo recitals to jazz, world, and popular music. In addition to Carnegie Hall’s presentations, the venue is also home to over 500 independently produced events each year. Complementing its performance activities, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute creates extensive music education and community programs that serve more than 300,000 people in the New York City metropolitan region, across the United States, and around the world annually, playing a central role in Carnegie Hall's commitment to making great music accessible to as many people as possible. For more information about Carnegie Hall, please visit carnegiehall.org.

    Ticket Information
    Gala Benefit Dinner tickets are nearly sold out. Tickets to the Gala After-Party are $250 and currently available by calling the Carnegie Hall Special Events office at 212-903-9679 or emailing specialevents@carnegiehall.org. Gala Benefit Dinner tickets include a partially tax-deductible donation.
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