Runaway Spoon

And The Music Flowed

May 13, 2018

Mesmerizing Japanese violinist Mayuko Kamio held the audience at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in the palm (well, actually the fingers) of her hands as she performed at the gala for Young Concert Artists of Washington Thursday.

Didi Cutler (left), Mayuko Kamkio, Aniko Gaal Schott & Ambassador Shinsuke J. Sugiyama (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Didi Cutler (left), Mayuko Kamkio, Aniko Gaal Schott & Ambassador Shinsuke J. Sugiyama

“Magnificant!” was the byword uttered by many.

Her incredible fingers guiding the bow created artistry that the audience of some 250 wouldn’t let end without two encores and a standing ovation. 

Kamio’s Carmen Fantasy with pianist Noreen Polera was innovative, spirited and charming.

The concert was held under the glittering crystal chandeliers in the cherry-blossom decorated ballroom, where the new Ambassador of Japan, Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, and his wife welcomed the gathering.

Susan Wadsworth chats with John Jeppson (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Susan Wadsworth chats with John Jeppson

Co-chairs were Aniko Gaal Schott and Isabel “Didi” Cutler.

Among those attending were Susan Wadsworth, director of Young Concert Artists of Washington; The Hon. Mary Mochary (vice president of the Washington Board); Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S. Laszio Szabo; Kevin Chaffee and Virginia Coyne of Washington Life magazine; Ambassador Lloyd Hand and Ann Hand; Wendy Benchley and John Jeppson; The Hon. and Mrs. William Webster, Olga and Bob Ryan; Don and Rhona Wolfe Friedman; and diplomatic writer Roland Flamini and Diane Flamini.

Goli Kashani (left) & Gilan Corn (chairman of the Young Concert Artists board of director (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Goli Kashani (left) & Gilan Corn (chairman of the Young Concert Artists board of director

Patrons included the cosmetic/fragrance company L’Occitane as well as Mozarteum Brasileiro, the renowned theater and cultural center in Brazil.  Sachiko Kuno Foundation was the underwriter patron.

Kamio, now 31, was first prize winner of the 2000 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and gold medalist of the 2007 International Tchaikovsky Competition. She made her concerto debut in Tokyo at the age of 10 under the baton of Charles Dutoit.

 

Hungarian Amb. Laszio Szabo, Judy Esfandiary, Dr. Ivonn Szevereny & Barbara Kapusto (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Hungarian Amb. Laszio Szabo, Judy Esfandiary, Dr. Ivonn Szevereny & Barbara Kapusto

She is internationally praised for her silken tone, long expressive phrasing and virtuoso technique. She has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops conducted by Keith Lockhart, the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich with Mstislav Rostropovich, and the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. 

The New York Timescalled Kamio an "exciting young musician" and "a radiant talent."

Young Concert Artists is a non-profit organization, founded in 1961.  It is supported by individuals, foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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Truth to Power Journalist Ann Curry Saluted

May 11, 2018

“Courageous…fearless…trail blazing… intrepid …truthful and fair,” that’s how fellow journalists portrayed television’s  Ann Curry, now turned PBS producer, as she was saluted  Wednesday by the American News Women’s Club at the National Press Club.

Georgetowner newpaper owner Sonya Bernhardt (left) & Sharman Dudley of Microsoft (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Georgetowner newpaper owner Sonya Bernhardt (left) & Sharman Dudley of Microsoft

Curry, 61, was a reporter for more than 30 years, and as admirers from the podium said, was a leader in the movement to tell “ truth to power.”

Curry’s honor came as The Washington Post reported that NBC released an international investigation into allegations that Matt Lauer sexually harassed women on the network. The Post reported last month that Curry, Lauer’s former “Today” co-host, said she “approached two members of NBC’s management team in 2012 after a female staffer told her she was ‘sexually harassed physically’ by Lauer.”

Ann Curry with her honor award (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Ann Curry with her honor award

For the evening, Curry didn’t take head-on the Lauer controversy. But others on the podium attested to her devotion to telling, in a truthful way, whatever she confronts.

Most of her work throughout her NBC career focused on human suffering in war zones and natural disasters. Curry has reported on the wars in Darfur, Syria, Congo, Iraq and numerous hot spots around the world.  Often her reporting took her into dangerous situations.

After a short hiatus between career moves, Curry returned to TV in January with a six-part PBS series, We’ll Meet Again.  Developed by her own production company, the series focuses on 12 stories of people searching for individuals who changed their lives.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in a message read to the audience of several hundred, called her a trail-blazing journalist.  Other congratulatory messages came from TV news stars Connie Chung, and Jane Pauley who wrote, “you set a standard for intrepid journalism…carry on.” 

From the podium, club president Janis Lamar described Curry as “fearless” and dedicated to upholding the highest standards of journalism.

Curry with Janis Lamar and journalist Eleanor Clift (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Curry with Janis Lamar and journalist Eleanor Clift

“Ann gives voice to the voiceless,” said Tom Bettag of the Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

In her opening remarks on the status of reporting today, emcee Kimberly Dozier, CNN Global Affairs Analyst, said that “journalism is under tremendous threat from the powers that be.”

Curry, an on-air journalist and photojournalist, was the national and international correspondent-anchor for NBC News and anchor-at-large for Today. She had co-anchored Today and also was anchor of Dateline NBC.  Curry left NBC three years after being pushed from Today after a year as co-anchor.

Janis Lamar, Ann Curry & Kimberly Dozier (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Janis Lamar, Ann Curry & Kimberly Dozier


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Didi Cutler Hosts CARE

May 6, 2018

Didi Cutler with Walter as she models a special scarf given to her by CARE. (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Didi Cutler with Walter as she models a special scarf given to her by CARE.

Georgetown’s Didi Cutler hosted a gathering Thursday that included Kosovo’s Ambassador Vlora Çitaku and former Yemen Ambassador to the U.S. Abdulwahab Al-Hajjri, for  a reception to highlight the philanthropic works of CARE around the world.

Çitaku captivated the group as she told of her personal journey from being a refugee during the Kosovo War, to becoming a journalist, then being a member of Kosovo Parliament, and then rising to be ambassador to the United States.

In addition to Didi and Walter Cutler, reception hosts were Lynda Webster, Colleen Nunn, and Martha Brooks (chairman of the CARE’s  board of directors) and the Yemen ambassador.

The Power Player attendees included Jackie Finn, Juleanna Glover, Maxine Champion, Judith Terra, Ginny Mars, Dorothy and Bill McSweeny, Barbara Hawthorn, Cindy Kim, Sofia Gegechkori  (public affairs/communications counselor for the Embassy of Georgia) and Julie Murphy. 

Maxine Champion (left) and Barbara Hawthorn (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Maxine Champion (left) and Barbara Hawthorn

A key purpose of the afternoon was to introduce individuals to CARE’s Global Leaders Network, a relatively new inclusive entity that holds informative receptions at foreign embassies in order learn more about the hosting nation as well as CARE’s overall mission. The network is organized by Beth Solomon, CARE's managing director of external affairs & development.

CARE’s work in 94 countries – helping refugees, victims of famine and the poorest – saves lives, lessens the factors that can lead to violent extremism and helps the most vulnerable recover, and rebuild after disaster.

CARE also is emphasizing the empowerment of women in economic development and in the realm of education.

Care’s National Conference will be May 21-23 in Washington, D.C.  Among the speakers slated are PBS' Judy Woodruff, CARE CEO Michelle Nunn, former Homeland security advisor Fran Townsend and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

Kosovo Amb. Vlora Citaku (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Kosovo Amb. Vlora Citaku

Chatting are from left Sofia Gegechkori, Judith Terra, Barbara Hawthorn & Julie Murphy. (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Chatting are from left Sofia Gegechkori, Judith Terra, Barbara Hawthorn & Julie Murphy.

CARE's chair of the Board of Directors Martha Brooks & former Yemen Amb. Abdulwahab Al-Hajjri (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) CARE's chair of the Board of Directors Martha Brooks & former Yemen Amb. Abdulwahab Al-Hajjri


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