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Houston Symphony: 2018 Ball:

The Balinese Room  


Photos by Jenny Antill

On Saturday, May 12, 2018, the Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston provided the sumptuous setting for the Houston Symphony’s 2018 Ball: The Balinese Room. The event, which raised over $1.33 million for Houston Symphony’s education and community programming, was chaired by Robin Angly and Miles Smith. Darrin Davis and Mario Gudmundsson served as co-chairs, and Ann Ayre and Helen Shaffer were the auction chairs. Phillips 66 was the presenting sponsor. The evening’s honorees were Aurelie Desmarais, who received the Mike Stude Award for Enduring Artistic Vision, and Dr. Renu Khator, who received the Raphael Fliegel Award for Visionary Leadership.


The Balinese Room reigned supreme in Galveston during the 1940s and 1950s. Guests were given a taste of what the famous nightclub would have been like the moment they arrived at the Post Oak Hotel when they were greeted by Bali fire dancers. Entering the venue, they found it transformed by Richard Flowers of the Events Company to reflect the Balinese Room’s heyday. Murals inspired by the Faena Hotel in Miami covered the ballroom walls, which were draped in tropical green firecracker curtains. Centerpieces of palm trees and orchids and other tropical flower arrangements adorned the tables.


While enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the more than 530 black-tie clad guests bid on one-of-a-kind silent auction items. Coveted packages included a trip for two to Paris for a rare behind-the-scenes tour of the Van Cleef & Arpels workshop and prized seats in the L’Ecole classroom, a one-week stay at Grey Mansion in the Hampton’s, a world-class trip for four to the Hawkeye Hunting Club in the Texas Piney Woods, a private champagne tasting and couture shopping experience at Dior, Bulgari Mediterranean Eden Intarsio pendant earrings in 18-karat rose gold, and a twelve-course meat spread with wine pairings at B&B Butchers & Restaurant.


Dinner, prepared by Executive Chef Jean-Luc Royere, reflected the Balinese Room’s original menu. It began with an endive and arugula medley confit of pear and candied pecans with champagne vinaigrette, which was followed by herb-roasted beef tenderloin and gulf shrimp with potatoes dauphinoise, green beans, carrots, and a selection of breads. For dessert, guests enjoyed piña colada coconut mousse and roasted pineapple and coconut dacquoise. Accompanying the meal were special wines selected by Lindy and John Rydman and Lisa Rydman of Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods. Musical accompaniment for the splendid meal was provided by the David Caceres Orchestra.


After dinner, the infectious beats of DJ Kalkutta got the crowd off their feet and onto the dance floor for the after-party. Partygoers sipped velvet hammers, a signature drink at the Balinese Room, and snacked on late-night bites, including grilled cheese quarters, chicken and waffles, southwest eggrolls, and sliders. 

Guests: Margaret Alkek Williams, Betty and Jesse Tutor, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Farida Abjani, Diane Lokey Farb, Lindy and John Rydman, Mary Lynn and Steve Marks, Ralph Burch, Maureen Higdon, Barbara and Pat McCelvey, Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah, Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Joanne King Herring, Alex and Astley Blair, Tatiana and Guillermo Sierra, and Susan and Ed Osterberg.


About Houston Symphony

Founded in 1913, the Houston Symphony has played a central role in Houston’s cultural and civic life for more than 100 years and is now one of America's oldest performing arts organizations. Today, the Houston Symphony’s 87 musicians perform approximately 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. The season, which starts in September and runs through May, includes 18 classical concerts, 9 BBVA Compass POPS concerts, 4 family concerts, and a number of Symphony Specials. The Symphony also offers a Sugar Land Series at Sugar Land Baptist Church and often performs in The Woodlands at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Its mission is to inspire and engage a large and diverse audience in Greater Houston and beyond through exceptional orchestral and non-orchestral performances, educational programs, and community activities. 

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