Houston Snapshots

Old World Meets Houston at the Million Dollar Symphony Ball’s “Vienna Fête Impériale”

Event Date:  January 27, 2024
Location:  The Post Oak at Uptown
Event:  Gala
Beneficiary:  Houston Symphony
No. in attendance:  400
Money raised:
Chairpersons:  Tammie & Dr. Charles Johnson, Drs. Alice Mao Brams & Matt Brams
Honorees:  Brigitte & Bashar Kalai, Dr. Sippi Khurana and Betty & Jesse Tutor
Décor and florals by:  The Events Company
Photography:  Priscilla Dickson and Daniel Ortiz

Old World Meets Houston at the Million-Dollar Symphony Ball’s “Vienna Fête Impériale”

The social scene was in force for 2024, as the Houston glitterati gathered at The Post Oak at Uptown to celebrate the 2024 Houston Symphony Ball. Themed “Vienna Fête Impériale,” old-world glamour and elegance met Bayou City charm and sophistication. Chaired by Tammie and Dr. Charles (Andy) Johnson and Drs. Alice Mao Brams and Matt Brams and honoring Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, Dr. Sippi Khurana and Betty and Jesse Tutor (receiving Lifetime Achievement Award), this white-tie celebration raised over $1 million to support the Symphony’s ongoing education and community efforts.

The breathtaking gowns were on point as well, as famed designers were represented en masse by the throng of supporters. Chair Tammie Johnson was beautifully bedecked in Naeem Khan, as was Honorable Joanne King Herring. Chair Dr. Alice Mao Brams looked exquisite in Pamella Roland. Honoree Brigitte Kalai dazzled in Marchesa. Margaret Alkek Williams stunned in a gold Ripetta ensemble. Christian Dior was well represented by honoree Dr. Sippi Khurana and Elia Gabbanelli. The glorious Hallie Vanderhider turned heads in Elie Saab as did Bobby Dees in Loro Piana. The divine Ann Ayre shimmered in Verdavainne. Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell glowed in CD Greene. Kristy Bradshaw looked radiant in Jason Wu. Vicki West and Karen Payne shined in couture Carolina Herrera. One honoree, not to be content with procuring a designer gown, designed her own formal attire. Using a color style reminiscent of Vienna debutantes, Betty Tutor created a winter-white wrapped gown made from silk taffeta with an off-the-shoulder neckline and buttoned on the side. The men were not outdone, as Kirk Kveton, Daniel Irion, and Ralph Burch looked distinguishably dapper in custom Zegna. Kirk and Dan added kid-skin gloves from British clothier, Dents.

Those arriving at the auspicious gala were greeted by a dazzling debutant Viennese Waltz opening and orator. While mingling and sipping on sumptuous wine pairings selected by Lindy and John Rydman of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods, guests perused the spectacular silent auction, with items procured by auction chair Christine Johnson. Renowned artist Patti Lennon-Potter was the Vienna Fête Impériale Artist and painted an oil painting for the auction that was also used as a vellum in the invitation.

Richard Flowers and The Events Company created décor that blended Austrian and American cultures. The palette was soft, with cream and champagne colors, varying shades of pink florals, crystal chandeliers, and antique candelabras.

Dallas-based Q the Band, celebrated for their star power, provided the evening’s entertainment and kept guests packed on the dance floor until midnight!

In the Social Scene (not previously mentioned):  John & Regina Mangum, Ajay Khurana, CC & Duke Ensell, Jonathan Ayre, David & Tara Wuthrich, Mady & Ken Kades, Heidi & Nick Rockecharlie, Reggie & Paula DesRoches, Bill Stubbs & Kurt Grether, Aerin & Quentin Smith, David Krieger, Devorah Rose, Chita and Lane Craft

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