A Feast of Music—known this year as El Festin de la Musica—is a gala event that brings together 450 of the city’s most prominent business leaders, music lovers, and cultural philanthropists to benefit New England Conservatory’s general scholarship fund. The event includes a silent auction, which you can preview with the descriptions on this page.
Please stay tuned for information regarding the 2015 A Feast of Music Silent Auction.
El Festin de la Musica 2014 Silent Auction Items
1. Casta Diva
One of the great living dramatic sopranos, opera superstar Jane Eaglen is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear her sing in a private setting for you and your guests. Renowned for her interpretations of Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, the title roles in Puccini’s Turandot, Bellini’s Norma, and Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, and in particular, as Brunnhilde in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, she has earned acclaim on the stages of the leading opera houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera and l’Opera National de Paris. Opera lovers and Wagnerians will not let slip this unique experience! Piano required.
2. The Man Who Came to Dinner...and stayed to play cello
Venerated NEC faculty member and former President, virtuoso cellist, witty raconteur, bon vivant and gourmand, Laurence Lesser founded the popular and visionary First Monday Series at NEC. Aside from his personal charm and worldly sophistication, Larry is one of the finest cellists in the world today. He was a top prize winner in the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and studied under renowned cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. He has performed with some of the major conductors of our era, including Seiji Osawa and Mstislav Rostropovich and has made numerous recordings. He has been a soloist with the BSO, the London Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other major orchestras. He appeared at the Casals, Spoleto, Marlboro, Charleston and Sante Fe festivals, as well as London’s South Bank Summer music. In 2005, Larry was named a “Chevalier du Violoncello” by the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at Indiana University, awarded for distinguished achievements and contributions to the world of cello playing and teaching. He has now agreed to give a private performance in your own home. Repertoire will differ, depending on whether or not the winner has a piano, but either way, you and your guests will be transported by the warmth and precision of his playing. Offer Larry a glass of a particularly fine vintage, and sit back as the music soars!
3. Weilerstein Duo - Donald and Vivian Hornik Weilerstein in private performance
Acclaimed teachers and dynamic performers, critics and audiences alike have embraced the vibrant musical interplay between Don’s expressiveness on the violin and Vivian’s intricate, dazzling piano. As delightful offstage as they are electrifying onstage, the Weilerstein Duo will create an unforgettable evening of great music and warm personality for your favored guests. Piano required.
Valued at: $5,000
Opening Bid: $2,000
Bid Increments: $100
Arts and Culture
4. Ghoststrings - Photograph by Nancy Berry
Extraordinarily talented with an eye for color and fine detail, LA-based fine art photographer and visual artist Nancy Berry makes chameleon-like appearances in her stunningly evocative pictures. A musician, as well as a visual artist, Nancy has a strong affinity for nature, a great sense of beauty and a way of capturing the moment that tells a haunting story. Ghoststrings is a fine art archival pigment photographic print on artist canvas. Mounted on custom stretcher frames, floated in West African Ayous wood outer frame, hand-crafted in Italy. Artist signature and edition number in verso. Size: 30 x 45 inches.
5. Besukonas - Painting by Ivonne Torres
Besukonas means love, affection, joy, warmth and is all about the lips. Ivonne Torres is a South Florida-based artist, where she has recently exhibited at Art Basel Miami. When she creates a work for the Besukonas series, she begins with the idea of vibrant colors, textured hair and eyes that can see right through you. Using a blend of materials that range from acrylic paint, charcoal and many other mediums, she creates works of depth and potency. Size: 72” x 24”, mixed media on canvas/2012.
Valued at $4,900
Opening Bid: $1,960
Bid Increments: $100
6. Sunsets and Sailboats - Painting by Geoff Chalmers "The Visitors"
Framed print of fine artist Geoff Chalmers’ evocative painting “The Visitors.” No matter what the season, this painting will remind us that the lovely days of summer, sailing, sea and sunsets will return again soon. Size: 18” x 24”
7. The Stretch - Painting by Giuliana Mottin, donated by Fernando DeOliveira
Striking painting by artist Giuliana Moltin in acrylic on canvas, titled “The Stretch.” Brazilian artist Giuliana Moltin began to paint at an early age. Her compositions are an expression of imminent and intimate emotion, portrayed through a unique hand technique involving the body of the artist in full contact with the colors that go onto the canvas. Giuliana’s paintings are made with her own hands without the use of brushes, an approach that is now her hallmark. She has most recently begun to introduce elegant, yet abstract forms of writing, producing an idiosyncratic form of calligraphy into the context of movement. The immediate strength of her technique, in combination with physicality and the energy of raw emotion, has often drawn comparisons to Jackson Pollock’s work, notwithstanding its intimate and genuine decorative appeal. Recently, Giuliana joined Saatchi Online, where she has 13 paintings on view. Size: 52” x 62”.
8. Permission to be Global - Curatorial Tour of Latin American Art Exhibit at the MFA.
Contemporary Latin American art is influencing American culture. A timely (for us!) exhibition at the MFA, challenges our perceptions of an increasingly globalized world. Drawn from the holdings of the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, the exhibition premiered during Art Basel Miami Beach and debuts at the MFA on March 19, 2014. Incorporating sculpture, painting, photography, video, installation and performance art from 1960 to the present, Permission to be Global/Practicas Globales features 46 artists from Central and South America and the Caribbean. Together, their works explore what it means “to be global” when free and equal cultural exchange is still limited by the power dynamics of globalization. After years of underrepresentation at home and abroad, many of these artists are now leading the discourse about contemporary art’s reach across international borders, whilst still reflecting social and political issues at home. A private tour for up to six people, led by the MFA’s Liz Munsell, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art and MFA Programs, followed by a meal at Bravo, the MFA restaurant.
9. Frida Kahlo Lives on in Boston and Paris
For those who missed the important presentation at the Orangerie in Paris of the works of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, here is your chance to view the stunning images and commentaries on their works. Included in the package is the souvenir poster of the exhibition, the catalogue of the show in English and a CD of the classical folk tunes from the time of Frida and Diego. To remain in the mood, dine at El Centro Dos in Brookline, where a giant wall mural of Frida presides over the authentic menu of specialties from owner Allan Rodriguez’s home town of Hermosillo, Mexico.
Design and Décor
10. North and South American Svenkst Tenn Pillow from Sweden
Witty graphic print in black and white on canvas, this goose down pillow from Stockholm’s premier design store Svenkst Tenn depicts the two Americas, one on each side. Brought back from Sweden by Co-Chair Suki de Bragança, this pillow perfectly unites North and South America in a stunning piece of home décor.
11. Golden Zebra Print Rug
fashioned from Argentine cowhide, this elegant rug in cream and gold zebra print, measuring approximately 5’ x 7’ in size. Imported from Argentina by the eclectic South End Latin American-inspired design store Diseno, this rug will add an exotic touch to any room in your home.
12. Royal Alpaca Chief's Blanket Ruana
Is there anything so soft and warm as fine alpaca? Keeping warm whilst still remaining fashionable in the New England winter weather is always a challenge, but you will be both warm, cozy and chic in this stunning wrap. Tribal graphics, inspired by a traditional chief’s blanket make a striking statement in vibrant tomato and walnut. A gorgeous layering piece to keep you warm in winter, knit of sublimely soft, woolen-spun royal alpaca. Made in Peru from 100% Woolen Royal Alpaca. One size fits all. Accompanied by a generous gift certificate to the Peruvian Connection on Newbury Street.
13. The Green of the Tropics
Necklace designed by Karina Trujillo. Karina Trujillo is a Venezuelan world-class artist, who has dedicated herself to capturing the colors and beauty of the tropics. She brings us a lovely creation – a spectacular necklace – that is inspired by the tropical greens found in the Amazon jungle, and fits perfectly with our design motif for the evening. This stunningly beautiful necklace can be worn with a simple black dress to transform it into something magical with a light and luscious glow from its intense shades of green.
14. Pear and Squash in Wood with Silver Leaves
Two wooden sculptures from Venezuela. Barquisimeto is one of the most artistic places in Venezuela and is the hometown of world-famous conductor Gustavo Dudamel. The Rea family has been making hand-crafted wood pieces for three generations. It takes many days to produce the pieces you see before you. The secret tradition and process of molding wood to create beautiful works of art is what makes the Rea family renowned as the “Masters of Wood.” The magic of the colors that the pieces incorporate come from the wood of different trees: Miguelito is the lightest yellow; Mora is yellow; Robles is red; and Ebano is the darkest brown.
15 & 16. Wooden Marquetry Boxes
Travel and Leisure
17. Southward Argentina!!! And on to Brazil
Buenos Aires, one of the most vibrant, glamourous cities on earth, opens its doors to you. A private car will meet you at the airport and transport you to the Oasis Clubhouse, where you will enjoy a three-night stay. Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed with a bottle of champagne and lunch or dinner for four, thanks to the Oasis Collection. Enjoy a tour of the city by limo with an English-speaking guide to show you some of the extraordinary highlights of Buenos Aires. The travel company SOUTHWARD Argentina will arrange for you to visit one of the most historic and most authentic Tango houses in Buenos Aires with admission and drink included. They will offer guidance and special prices for other additional services or programs within Argentina you wish to enjoy. Is it polo season there? Airfare not included.
New Addition: Side trip to the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. The only hotel within Brazil’s Iguazu National , Hotel Das Cataratas is just a two minute stroll from the thundering action of the 275 Iguazu waterfalls. Set among tropical rainforest, it is encircled by trees that attract fascinating birds, animals and butterflies. This natural paradise offers countless action-packed thrills – take a helicopter over the Falls, or view the lunar rainbow, go white-water rafting or abseil down the gorge. Then, retreat to this tranquil hotel, with its colorful Portuguese décor, beautiful pool and orchid-filled gardens. Three night stay with all meals included.
18. Unforgettable Week on Maryland's Eastern Shore and in Washington, D.C.
Thanks to the generosity of Honorary Chair Hilda Ochoa and Arturo Brillembourg, Casa Luna, their fabulous contemporary home on the banks of the Tred Avon River is yours to enjoy in any season. Inside the home, you will find four beautifully appointed bedrooms that sleep 8 adults, plus a bunk room for 4 youngsters. Experience all that the shore has to offer in a multiplicity of seasonal activities ranging from relaxing by the fire or in the hot tub in winter, trap shooting, bird hunting (at an additional cost), to warm weather activities such as a dip in the pool, tennis and golf at one of the nearby golf courses in the area. In autumn and spring, the beauties of nature take precedence with the changing of the leaves, biking, walking or jogging, or viewing the flowering of the garden, designed by world-renowned landscape architects Oehme, Van Sweden & Associates. Maid service is available separately. When the city calls, go into Washington, D.C., where you will enjoy dinner for four at Oyamel, one of the best and purest Mexican cuisine restaurants with the hottest young chef. Dinner for four includes two bottles of wine, tax and gratuity. In addition, you and your guests may choose between two concerts at the Kennedy Center that feature music by Latin American composers. Your stay in the city will be at the charming River Inn. Of all the hotels in Washington, D.C., The River Inn offers the perfect blend of spirited service, a downtown location, exquisite amenities and oversized suites. You and your guests will enjoy a two-night stay in a spacious Corporate King Room with a full kitchen. Tucked away on a quiet, myrtle-tree lined street in Foggy Bottom, The River Inn is a short walk or Metro ride to everything the U.S. Capitol has to offer, from museums, monuments and memorials, to government, business & major organizations. Some blackout dates throughout the year apply.
19. The Fairmont Acapulco Princess Luxury Resort: A WORLD FAVORITE
Enjoy a three night stay in a Fairmont Room with breakfast included.
Mexico lovers from all over the world know Acapulco for its blend of tropical scenery - beaches, hilly jungles, white capped Pacific seas- and dynamic array of nightclubs and restaurants. This is a great destination for an unforgettable vacation! Now it can be yours with the winning bid!
Recognized as one of the top 500 hotels in the world, the award winning Fairmont Acapulco Princess hotel reigns over 480 acres of legendary Mexican scenery. Affectionately known as The Princess, the resort is tucked away on Revolcadero Beach, 20 minutes from the bustle of downtown and a few minutes from the airport. The 15-story Aztec pyramid-shaped building with lush gardens, sparkling pools, two exclusive golf courses, fine dining restaurants, a Willow Stream Spa, and one of the largest meeting spaces in Acapulco, caters to the desires of the world's most distinguished guests and world-class events.
20. Explore the Yucatán - Mérida vacation package
The Mexico Tourism Board invites you to explore the Yucatán with an exciting trip to Mérida, capital of the Yucatán. The winning couple will be flown from any US gateway to Mérida and will include two complimentary nights in a Mérida hotel. Mérida has been nicknamed "The White City", though the exact origin of this moniker is not clear. Some explanations include the common color of its old buildings painted and decorated with "cal" or the fact that the residents keep the city particularly clean. Mérida was named after the Spanish town of the same name. Mérida served as the American Capital of Culture in the year 2000.
As the state and regional capital, Mérida is a cultural center, featuring multiple museums, art galleries, restaurants, movie theatres and shops. Mérida retains an abundance of beautiful colonial buildings and is a vibrant cultural center with music and dancing playing an important part in day-to-day life. At the same time it is a modern city boasting a comprehensive range of shopping malls, auto dealerships, top quality hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities. The famous avenue, Paseo de Montejo, is lined with original sculpture. Each year, the MACAY Museum in Mérida mounts a new sculpture installation, featuring works from Mexico and one other chosen country.
Dining and Drinking
21. A Connoisseur's Delight - A Selection of Tequilas from the Basics to the Most Rarified
Lovers of fine cognac, take note! Refined palates are now discovering the elegance of Mexico’s extraordinary range of very fine tequilas. Here is a selection of some of the very finest:
Casa Herradura Extra Añejo – dark amber in color with the delicate scent of agave, dry wood, vanilla, cinnamon and rose petal with a complex balance of flavors. Aged 49 months. $300 per bottle.
Gran Patron Platinum – hand-selected for their high sugar content, this tequila is triple-distilled and then rested in oak barrels for a short time, making it crystal clear, extraordinarily smooth, sweet and full-bodied. The aroma is fresh agave, citrus and fruit. Packaged in a handcrafted, lead-free crystal bottle. $200 per bottle.
Gran Patron Burdeos – the King of Tequilas! Dark amber in color with an aroma of fine Bordeaux wine, oak, very light agave, vanilla and fruit. Smooth, sweet with great body. Matured first in a combination of new American and French oak barrels and aged for a minimum of 12 months. It is then distilled AGAIN before it is racked in vintage Bordeaux barrels from the finest chateaux. Beautifully packaged in a lead-free crystal bottle, placed inside a rounded display case, this tequila retails for $500 per bottle (2 bottles included).
Selection of Sauza Tequilas – from lightest to deep amber gold, here is a range of tequilas from Sauza. All made from 100% blue agave, these fine tequilas range from crystal clear Plata, perfect for mixing in light cocktails, double-distilled, unaged; Reposado, a light amber color, double-distilled, rested for two months in oak vats, just right for sipping with a little ice; and the deep amber, smoky-flavored Añejo, double-distilled, and aged at least 12 months in American oak barrels – perfect in a Dark n’ Stormy!
22. Personal Chef's Table
Ever dream of having a personal French chef at your disposal? Chef Laurent Poulain, executive chef of the Fairmont Copley Plaza, will make that dream a reality with a dinner for 10, prepared and hosted by Chef Laurent and his team in your home. Local and seasonal ingredients will be the centerpiece of the five-course, custom-designed menu, inspired by French and American cuisine. To complement the dinner, Chef Laurent will personally pair wines for each course. In addition, he will bring a team to assist with service, so all you need to do is sit back, sip a glass of wine and relax!
To be arranged at a mutually agreeable date and time.
23. Latin American Cuisine in Boston
No need to fly south to sunnier climes to enjoy fine Latin American cuisine! Now, you can explore the range of Latin American food right here in Boston. Three great Latin American restaurants invite you to taste their varied menus by giving you gift certificates to their fine dining establishments. Included in this remarkable opportunity are Michael Schlow’s Tico, Andres Branger’s Orinoco, Brazilian Steakhouse Fogo de Chao and the popular, longtime favorite Casa Romero.
Valued at: $350
Opening Bid: $140
Bid Increments: $50
24. Latin American Cooking Lessons
Two of our Committee members have hidden talents as chefs. Sibila Korb hails from Argentina and is famous for her empanadas. Christopher Crofton-Atkins grew up in Peru and has astonished his friends with his justly renowned seafood chupe (seafood stew). They will come to your home and teach you the secrets of their success. They will bring all necessary ingredients with them from their hidden sources. Making empanadas is a two-day process, so Sibila will bring along some pre-made filling, so that you can learn the stuffing and baking technique, but she will also teach you how to make the stuffing from scratch. Christopher will instruct you on just what makes his chupe such a standout. Plan on having friends over for dinner the next day, so that you can serve them these two masterpieces of Latin American cuisine!
25. Collection of Fine European Wines
Mixed half case of fine European wines from Bordeaux, Châteauneuf du Pape and Jumilla, Spain. Whether you already have a collection of fine wines and are looking to augment or you are interested in building your cellar from the beginning, here is a collection of fine European wines that deserve pride of place in any connoisseur’s collection. These beautiful wines include Château Quinault 2000 and Château d’Issan from Bordeaux; two bottles of Charbonniere Veilles Vignes 2003 and Roger Sabon Prestige 2003 from Châteauneuf du Pape in the Rhone Valley; and Clio 2003 from Jumilla, Spain.
26. Bacco Fine Food Gift Basket
Enjoy a basket of delectable gourmet treats from Bacco Fine Foods. Included in the gift basket will be a bottle of fine Argentine wine, so that you may continue to explore the sumptuous wines of this vibrant region.