On The Avenue

Money and Music (and Magic!) at Lincoln Center’s Alternative Investment Industry Gala

by Wendy Sy Photographed by Mari Kon
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
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“I want to tell you that I was not worried about the rain for one second because if this crowd can’t deal with the weather or volatility of markets, then no one can,” says Ilana D. Weinstein of The IDW Group, LLC, and one of the five gala chairs of last night’s Lincoln Center Alternative Investment Industry Gala. Held at the Rainbow Room, the crowd included a who’s who of the financial industry, gathered in support of the performing arts in New York.

Standing alongside fellow co-chair Anna Nikolayevsky of Axel Capital Management, Weinstein continued, “We grew up in New York City, and as a result, Lincoln Center was very much part of the fabric of our coming of age. The Nutcracker was the gong that set off the holidays, as I’m sure it has been for many of you and your families. The ballet was where I celebrated my birthday with my mom every year,” she said. “Not everyone is fortunate to attend what this cultural mecca has to offer and I want you to understand that much of the funding that we are raising here this evening and that Lincoln Center has raised over the years, goes toward artistic educational programs in public schools and under-served neighborhoods.”

Nikolayevsky says, “Somebody asked me how often I listen to music. I would say 80% of the time. It might be higher than other people, but without music, I have no spirit, soul or energy. The arts right now are more important than ever. It’s a thread that connects all of us.”

Under a golden chandelier on the other side of the room, Michael Chaut, a magician from Magical Nights Inc., stirred up convo throughout the evening with a few tricks up his sleeves. He played the classic Mr. Rabbit act by Goshman, making a red sponge rabbit multiply from one to two to four, by opening and closing his hand. The secret? Unknown. When asked if he can apply that trick to money, he said with a smile, “We magicians try to keep everything nice and honest and I use my powers for good. We tell you that we are going to fool you but we don’t, then we do.” Hmmm.

The event raised $750,000 to support Lincoln Center’s resident organizations: the Chamber of Music Society, Film Society, Jazz, the Julliard School, Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, the School of American Ballet and the Performing Arts.

Attendees included chair of Lincoln Center chairman Katherine Farley and additional gala co-chairs Steven A. Cohen of Point72 Asset Management, James G. Dinan of York Capital Management and Bennett J. Goodman of GSO Capital Partners.


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