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Vienna Philharmonic and Austrian Delights

March 06, 1997|ANN CONWAY

The scene: A crush of classical-music buffs rubbed elbows with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra President Werner Resel and guest conductor Daniel Berenboim at the Center Club in Costa Mesa on Tues-

day night. Resel and Berenboim, mu-

sic director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra who is conducting the Vienna musicians on their world tour, were fresh from the orchestra's Orange County premiere Tuesday at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa.

Quotes: Some guests worried that Berenboim might have been offended by the audience applauding between movements of Mozart's Symphony 29. No problem, said Berenboim, who arrived at the reception wearing a black coat over his white tie and tails: "I think we have become much too pseudo- sophisticated, raising our eyebrows, when people do that. People who come to a concert hall have to react from what they feel in their heart."

Said Resel: The acoustics in Segerstrom Hall are among the best in the world.

Nibbles: Guests snacked at an Austrian-themed buffet of schnitzel, spaetzle, crepes, apple strudel and other pastries. "The linzer tort tastes like Vienna," observed one guest, helping herself to seconds.

Guest list: Although Thomas Klestil, president of Austria, sent his regrets (he's recovering from an illness, said insiders) and Austria-born Arnold Schwarzenegger was a no-show, the room was packed with Orange County's own brand of royalty: major arts donors. Guests included William Gillespie; Helen and Dr. Edward Shanbrom; Jim and Elaine Alexiou; Don and Eugenia Thompson; Louis and Jeanette Knobbe; Richard Reinsch; Eva and Fred Schneider; Bill and Barbara Roberts; Winnie and Bob Smith; Doug and Dierdre Smith; Elaine Redfield; Mark Johnson and Barbara Johnson; Philharmonic Society of Orange County chairman Fritz Westerhout; society president Jane Grier; Dean Corey, executive director; and special guest Austrian Consul General Werner Brandstetter and his wife, Leonie.

Letter from the president:

Standing before the crowd, Brandstetter read a letter from President Klestil: "I know that Orange County . . . is experiencing a promising economic upturn . . . and is becoming increasingly important as a venue for culture. I am proud that, with the Vienna Philharmonic concerts, Austria can be part of these gratifying developments."

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