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Photos: Audra McDonald and Renee Fleming Open the 2018- 2019 Season at Carnegie Hall with The San Francisco Symphony

Tonight, Carnegie Hall opened its 2018-2019 season with a sold out gala benefit concert featuring the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Music Director and Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist Michael Tilson Thomas. The program included Gershwin's Cuban Overture and An American in Paris as well as Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 1. Mr. Tilson Thomas and the orchestra were joined on this celebratory occasion by renowned sopranos Renée Fleming and Audra McDonald offering vocal selections by Gershwin, Rodgers, Villa-Lobos, Stephen Sondheim, and others.

The gala, which was attended by more than 800 guests, was capped by a festive dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street raising an Opening Night record of over $5.1 million in support of Carnegie Hall's artistic and education programming.

Mercedes T. Bass and Hope and Robert F. Smith were the Gala Lead Chairmen for Carnegie Hall's black tie Opening Night Gala event on October 3. The gala chairman committee included Len and Emily Blavatnik; Annette de la Renta; Sabrina W. Fung; Sana H. Sabbagh; Melanie and Jean Salata; Beatrice Santo Domingo; Brian and Adria Sheth; David M. Siegel and Dana Matsushita; Ian and Margaret Smith; S. Donald Sussman; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill. PwC is the Opening Night Gala Lead Sponsor for the 15th consecutive season, and Dennis M. Nally, Retired Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd., and Roy Weathers, Vice Chairman and US Tax Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd. were the Corporate Chairmen for the event.

The Opening Night performance was also heard by listeners around the world, kicking off the eighth annual Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series with a live radio broadcast on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and online at and

Photo Credit: Christ Lee

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