Photo by Natalia Janetti
Aniko Gaal Schott & Maestro Fischer
Aniko Gaal Schott & Maestro Fischer

To honor legendary Budapest Festival Orchestra Maestro Ivan Fischer, a contingent of well-respected Washingtonians and  their diplomatic guests held a musicale reception on St. Valentine’s Day at the St. Regis hotel.

Jane Cafritz (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Jane Cafritz

The invitational event was hosted by Aniko Gaal Schott, Jane Cafritz, Karon Cullen and Manuel Martinez of the St. Regis.

Seen at the invitational reception attended by 140 were the Japanese ambassador Kenichiro Sasae and his wife; Monaco’s Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle; former Homeland Security Chief The Hon. Michael Chertoff and his wife Meryl; Brandon and Lila Sullivan; the James Rosebushes; Nina and Phil Pillsbury; State Department Assistant Chief of  Protocol Rosemarie Pauli; Rolph and France Graage; Jeannie Rausch; Count and Countess Renaud de Viel Castel; Count Sandor Karolyi; Albert and Madzy Beveridge;

The Hon. Lloyd Hand and his wife, jewelry designer Ann Hand; Calvin Cafritz; opera buff Lucky Roosevelt, diplomatic writer Roland Flamini and his wife, social secretary and protocol officer at the Spanish embassy Diane Flamini, writer Sandra McElwaine; Charles Krause; Washington Life magazine associate publisher John H. Arundel and his wife Christine; writer Kevin Chaffee; and event designer Debrajean Overholt

Outside the weather was, as the song goes, frightful. Inside a musical quintet warmed the soul with classical music as well as with rumbas and tangoes. Among those thanked for the evening were St. Regis Washington DC and the Estee Lauder Companies.

Calvin Cafritz & Monaco's Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Calvin Cafritz & Monaco's Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle

In introductory remarks, Schott  recounted the long list of musical instruments that Maestro Fischer has mastered. Then, she laughed that he is now looking around for a set of  Scottish bagpipes.

 Fischer is a former principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra.

After his performance at the Kennedy Center on Monday, Feb. 15, Fischer and the orchestra travel to New York to perform at a concert at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, Feb. 18. 

According to David Allen of The New York Times, the Budapest Festival Orchestra “might be the best in the world.”

Aniko (left), Karon Cullen & Manuel Martinez (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Aniko (left), Karon Cullen & Manuel Martinez

“It’s hard to think of an orchestra that can stir greater thrills than the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iv├ín Fischer,” wrote the New York Classical Review.

Media contact: Christine K. Schott at CKS@CKSchott.comor 917.847.0015.

Debrajean Overholt (left) & Ann Hand (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Debrajean Overholt (left) & Ann Hand

Playing at the reception (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Playing at the reception


1 Comment For This Article


Loved reading your article!! Spectacular evening and stellar guest list-- captured beautifully here .
Thank you for this special reportage--!MB -- -