Sunday, 17 November 2013

Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award 2013

Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, UK 2013
On Thursday 14th November 2013, I had the great honour of attending the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, held at the Claridge's Hotel ballroom in London. Since 1992, Montblanc has been recognising and celebrating the works of outstanding private patrons of the arts in 12 countries worldwide. We gathered at the gorgeous venue for Lady Solti, the UK recipient of this year’s award in recognition of her long-term and outstanding support and dedication to music and the arts. Lady Solti and The Solti Foundation has been dedicated to supporting new, young musical talents since 1998. The charitable foundation focuses on bringing private funding from its supporters and trustees to young musicians, mainly through small grants used for projects such as coaching, travel to competitions and auditions, short periods of study and the hire of rehearsal facilities, that afford aspiring talents the means to begin their careers.

The evening started off with a spine-tingling-ly good operatic performance by Sarah-Jane Lewis and Ross Ramgobin above, accompanied by Jonathan Papp on the piano. It was such a surreal moment, two enchanting vocals soaring in harmony. I cannot pretend that opera is my thing, but I also cannot imagine anyone not savouring that moment in that ornate ballroom, where they sang about the love for each other (I think!), so pure and full of emotions.

Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, UK 2013
Then came the moment I was waiting for: Lang Lang took to the stage to pay tribute to Lady Solti and to present her with this year's award. The critically acclaimed pianist was so humble in person. I recorded a short video of his speech, check it out here. Lang Lang then went on to give a special performance, playing for us two short pieces. Watching him perform live is quite simply, astounding and mind-blowing.

Lang Lang partnered with Montblanc for a very long time. It is at that moment I realised how important these art funding are. Without appropriate support, financial or otherwise, talent would remain undiscovered and our world would remain so homogeneous. It is so nice to see corporations giving back to society, and society recognising talent. Last month, Lang Lang was chosen by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to be a United Nations Messenger of Peace. He now travels around the world to help improve the lives of children through education and music.


Lady Solti, founder of The Solti Foundation, then took to the stage and gave an emotional speech in acceptance of the award, paying tribute and dedicating the award to her late husband, Sir George Solti. Lady Solti was awarded €15,000 and a limited edition Patron of the Arts Montblanc fountain pen, in which she donated to The Solti Foundation. 

“Music has always been part of human life. Music is a solace which lives with us throughout our lives, never failing us. It is present and glorious. How fortunate we are to live in Britian where every type of music is so accessible. In this crazy disturbed world music remains an inspiration and most of all the greatest joy.” ~ Lady Solti

Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, UK 2013
It was a joyous and glorious evening. Naturally I was suited and velvet loafer-ed, accessorised with the Montblanc Star Classique Automatic in rose gold.

Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, UK 2013
Here is an interesting moment I captured. I knew artists usually have eclectic tastes in fashion, but I wasn't quite prepared for those mind blowing red Nike trainers that Lang Lang wore. Yes, he wore those shoes when he tinkled on the Steinway & Sons grand piano just moments earlier. Fascinating!

Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, UK 2013
It was an amazing night, where we celebrated the talents and achievements of these amazing individuals. A thought provoking evening, a masterclass in music and on giving back. Marks a nice finale towards the end of the year.


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1 comment:

  1. nike trainers...now that's what i call a statement.

    ReplyDelete

what's he wearing?