GALA 2018 RECAP
Gala 2018 was a star-studded affair! In addition to the prestige of our honorees, Yo-Yo Ma and Howard Gottlieb, Merit was graced with remarks and a performance from baritone Thomas Hampson, a generous tribute by Deborah Rutter of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and video testimonials from Renee Fleming, Damian Woetzel of The Juilliard School, Jeff Alexander of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and many more.
Not to be outdone, our host of music-minded benefactors, event co-chairs, and attendees helped Merit raise $1.1 MILLION in support of our excellent, inclusive, and diverse music education programming. To all who made Gala 2018 a night to remember, Merit offers it sincerest gratitude. THANK YOU!
To view photos from the evening, access our Facebook album (login not required).
Honoring: Yo-Yo Ma
The Alice S. Pfaelzer Distinguished Service to the Arts Award
The many-faceted career of cellist Yo-Yo Ma is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Mr. Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras worldwide and his recital and chamber music activities. His discography includes over 100 albums, including 19 Grammy award winners.
Mr. Ma is a founder of Silkroad, an organization he founded to promote cross-cultural performance and collaborations at the edge where education, business, and the arts come together to transform the world. More than 80 works have been commissioned specifically for the Silkroad Ensemble, which tours annually. Mr. Ma also serves as the Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Negaunee Music Institute. His work focuses on the transformative power music can have in individuals’ lives, and on increasing the number and variety of opportunities audiences have to experience music in their communities.
Mr. Ma was born in Paris to Chinese parents who later moved the family to New York. He began to study cello at the age of four, attended the Juilliard School and in 1976 graduated from Harvard University. He has received numerous awards, among them the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the National Medal of Arts (2001), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010). In 2011; Mr. Ma was recognized as a Kennedy Center Honoree. He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.
HONORING: HOWARD GOTTLIEB
The Merit School of Music Lifetime of Service Award
Howard Gottlieb is the General Partner of Glen Eagle Partners, Ltd., a family private investment firm. He was a founding partner of Glenwood Partners and Chairman of Glenwood Financial Group.
Mr. Gottlieb is an accomplished violinist. He has played in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and performed widely with orchestras and chamber music groups in the United States and Europe.
He is a Life Trustee of the Merit School of Music, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a former trustee of the Aspen Music Festival and School and past member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Mr. Gottlieb is a graduate of the University of Chicago and serves on the University’s Visiting Committee.
Julie and Dan Baumeister
Honorary Co-chair – Duffie A. Adelson
Judson and Joyce Green
Howard Gottlieb and Barbara Greis
Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund
Judy and Verne Istock
The Negaunee Foundation
Janice L. Honigberg
Helen, Richard and David Thomas
Julie and Daniel Baumeister
Ellen and Paul Gignilliat
Caroline and Charlie Huebner
J. Thomas Hurvis
Julian Family Foundation
Beth and Barry Mitchell
Peggy and Dick Notebaert
Earl Rusnak, Jr. and Sandra Rusnak
Sirius Fund, Ginny and Peter Foreman
The Steans Family
Zell Family Foundation
Julie and Roger Baskes
Kathleen and Gerhard Bette
Jim and Kay Mabie
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius,
Thomas Linguanti and Olivia Tyrrell
Cathy and Bill Osborn
John Hart and Carol Prins
Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan
Nina G. Stillman
William Blair and the DeVore Family
Susan and Lawrence Aaron
Carol Lavin Bernick Family Foundation
BMO Harris Bank
Rita and John Canning
Helen and Paul Chang
Robert and Margaret Fisher
Madeleine and Joe Glossberg
Anne and William Goldstein
Shelley Ochab and Chester Gougis
Justin and Katharine Greis and EY
Heidi Lukas and Charles Grode
Thomas and Janet Leopold
Robert M. and Diane v.S. Levy
Charlotte and Gil Minor
Susan and Ted Oppenheimer
Lorna and Ellard Pfaelzer, Jr.
Ann and Ray Rusnak
Donna and Tom Stone
T. Rowe Price
Zeller Realty Group
Sheri and Sherwin Zuckerman