- Newyork Event -
Our speaker, director of the Tisch Center for the Arts of the 92nd Street Y, Hanna Arie-Gaifman, will take us on a journey of her life and work as a genuinely intrepid arts presenter.
What does an arts presenter do, and how do they do it? How do they take something as ephemeral as music, dance, visual art, poetry, or literature, and craft a concrete action plan?
How do they grow an organization and the programs it presents: giving them life and vision and purpose, while enrolling and bringing an audience along on the journey?
As an arts administrator, presenter, and educator, Hanna is well-equipped to answer these questions. She will begin by charting her own career in the arts, from her PhD studies, to leading the Czech Philharmonic, to producing festivals in Prague and Jerusalem, and finally to her current post at the 92nd Street Y.
Then, drawing from her own rich experience with cultural figures as varied as Madeleine Albright, Allen Ginsberg, Arthur Miller, Václav Havel, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Isaac Stern, Hanna will discuss how she has developed the 92ndStreet Y’s Tisch Center for the Arts into a haven for not just world-class concerts but also multi-disciplinary collaborations with luminaries of their respective fields.
Hanna will also use her experience in shepherding one such collaboration—between designer and architect Gabriel Calatrava, the Brentano String Quartet, choreographer John-Mario Sevilla—to explore the creative process from inception to execution, how often you have to creatively pivot and course-correct even in challenging circumstances, and—ultimately—how a vision is translated into an impactful experience.
Yet finally, as Hanna notes, “I don’t have vision – I just have questions.” But, what questions? How do we pose them? Who should we invite to answer them? How do the artist and presenter give meaning and purpose to the answers, both individually and as one of the “mosaic” of answers that makes up a season? And could the study of artful questioning, help all of us in our leadership lives?
And as in so much else, often questions are the answer.
Our Speaker: Hannah Arie-Gaifman
Hanna Arie-Gaifman is in her eighteenth season as director of the Tisch Center for the Arts of the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Founded in 1874 by a group of visionary Jewish leaders, the 92nd Street Y has grown into a cultural, educational and community center serving people of all races, faiths and backgrounds. Under her leadership, The Tisch Center is internationally renowned for its presentations of concerts of classical and world music, American songbook classics and jazz, and, through its celebrated Unterberg Poetry Center, readings by renowned authors.
Born in Prague to intellectual Jewish parents living under Communist rule, Arie-Gaifman moved with her family to Israel, where she studied piano at the Rubin Academy of Music and received a bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies and English Literature at Hebrew University. She moved to the U.S. to earn a master’s degree in Slavic Languages in Literature from Stanford University, but then returned to the Hebrew University for her doctorate in Comparative Literature. Eventually, Arie-Gaifman would teach at the University of California, Berkeley and at New York University.
While pursuing her doctorate, in 1978, Arie-Gaifman became artistic advisor of the Jerusalem Festival, helping to organize its first open-air concert at “Mishkenot Ha Shaananim.” The 1978 Festival celebrated three decades of Israeli independence, featured Isaac Stern, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Leontyne Price, and launched Arie-Gaifman’s career in the arts.
In 1990, Arie-Gaifman accompanied Vaclav Havel on his trip to Israel as his translator, and in 1993, she returned to Prague to serve as dean of the Mozart Academy and help recreate cultural life in the post-Communist era.
In 1996, she became director of artistic management and international relations of the Czech Philharmonic, where she is credited with convincing the renowned Vladimir Ashkenazy to become its chief conductor, and director of Prague’s annual Musica Judaica Festival, where she brought a wide variety of international Jewish musicians to Prague.
Fluent in English, German, Hebrew, French, Czech and Russian, Arie-Gaifman lives in Manhattan with her husband, a professor at Columbia University, and has two daughters.
THE TASTING: Taking the “Blinds” Off in Blind Tasting
Our presenter, IB&WS Member when she was living in New York, is Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, who was the 4th woman to achieve the coveted MW title in the United States. She has been honored with an international tasting trophy for her palate, an avid author, consultant and entrepreneur, Jennifer is also a sought after Tedx presenter and a “go to” specialist relating to wine widely sought after by the media.
Can “blind tasting” be honed as a skill? We’ll find out, delightfully and deliciously, as we taste some lovely wines “blind.” Neither pure magic nor a parlor trick, there is a technique studied by Masters of Wine that we’ll learn called funneling.
We will taste delightful sparkling and white, venerable red grapes converted now into nectar, expressions of noble rot, compare regions and vintages -- all blind -- investigating intensity of aromas, body, acid, alcohol, tannin. We’ll experience the characteristics of cool climate vs. warm climate, the expression of fruit versus acidity and minerality, gain insight into key grape varieties, try to pin down that elusive sense of “quality,” and emerge enjoying the wines we’ll experience, including as ever, rarer gems over dinner, with signficiantly heightened insight and appreciation.
And as an editorial note, experiencing Jennifer’s savvy and enthusiasm will add even more joy as well as meaning to the exploration as we’ve found on many past occasions.
THE DINNER: The Multi-Faceted Joys of Bar Boulud/Boulud Sud
Always anticipated keenly by Members, this restaurant shines for its versatility and range. Here, the Chef’s dishes range from the “south” of Europe to classics from Lyon, as part of Daniel Boulud’s always inspired and imaginative team. The Chefs will be creating an exceptional menu for this occasion, paired insightfully with our “blind” wine delights.