Malibu Seen

Philip and Claudia Dichter (top center) join LACO's Jeffrey Kahane along with son Gabriel and wife Martha for the magic of Mozart Photo courtesy of Lee Salem Photography


Music lovers gathered at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a little night music and to mark a milestone. It was a grand fete in grand style honoring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on the composer’s 250th birthday.

As guests made their way up the red carpet they encountered costumed greeters decked out in full 18th-century court garb complete with golden masks and powdered wigs.

Upstairs, chamber music chums sipped champagne and snacked on delicacies by celeb chef Joachim Splichal and Patina. The culinary artist whipped up marvelous morsels by the dozen, including artichoke hearts with Parmesan cream, celery root pancakes, purple potatoes stuffed with crème fresh and caviar, and some mean green fava bean.

There was plenty of action at the silent auction, which featured a whirlwind of diplomatic dining. If the price was right, you and your friends could enjoy any number of specially prepared feasts with a true international flavor. A series of private parties were offered up at the homes of the counsels general of Brazil, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Spain and, of course, Austria—birthplace of Wolfgang A. M.

After putting in their final bids, it was show time, and the crowd settled into their seats for a celebration of Mozart and more. When it comes to chamber music, silence is golden. To drive home the point, auctioneer Alan Chapman instructed those in attendance to turn off their cell phones. Any accidental beeps, rings or rap tones, he warned, would be considered an opening bid in amount of his choice at the upcoming live auction. Needless to say, compliance was 100 percent.

With our devices safely disarmed, Music director Jeffrey Kahane kicked things off with Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 in B flat major, aka “Gran Partita.” The program soon turned into a family affair as Kahane’s son Gabriel joined him at the ivories for a four-handed rendition of Sonata in C major. To jazz things up, Gabe concluded the evening with a few mid-century standards like “I’ll be Seeing You.”

The celebration continued on the top floor, where we tucked into a dinner of roasted beet salad with truffled garlic goat cheese, beef sirloin with ginger butternut squash and, in keeping with the spirit of Salzburg, a rich milk chocolate mousse with crunchy hazelnuts and a gooey warm chocolate sauce.

The evening wrapped up with a spin on the dance floor with swing tunes courtesy of the Modern Rhythmists classical jazz band. Wunderbar!