On September 27, 2005, The Russian Children's Welfare Society (RCWS) hosted a fundraising evening in conjunction with the exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - RUSSIA! The theme of the evening was "A Celebration of Russian Culture" honoring the great cultural contributions Russia has made to the world. Over 400 guests attended and the Society raised over $40,000 to support our on-going programs in Russia.
Opened on September 14th, 2005, RUSSIA! was the most comprehensive and spectacular showing of Russian art ever sent to the United States. Organized by a team of leading American and Russian curators, RUSSIA! was conceived as a series of key moments that, added together, told the remarkable and interconnected history of Russian art of the last nine centuries and Russian collections of Western art since the eighteenth century. The leading museums of Russia, including The Russian Museum, Hermitage and Tretyakov Gallery, lent 300 of their most precious masterworks.
The Russian Children's Welfare Society had the exclusive use of the museum allowing guests to enjoy a private showing of this incredible exhibition followed by a reception at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York.
The evening's highlights included a speech given by Suzanne Massie, whose outstanding ability as an interpreter of Russian culture and bridge builder between the Russian and American people has been acknowledged by both countries. She spoke about contributions of Russia to world culture. Anyone wishing a copy of this fascinating talk can receive it by writing to the Russian Children's Welfare Society. Valerie Hillings, the co-curator of the RUSSIA! gave a well-received talk about how the exhibition was put together.
The musical portion of the evening began with Sergei Prokofiev's stunning Suggestions diaboliques, Op. 4, No. 4. It is hair-raisingly difficult and was excitingly performed by the acclaimed pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn. The noted cellist, Andre Emelianoff and pianist Dmitry Rachmanov followed with a richly played movement from Variations on a rococo theme by Peter Tchaikovsky and were joined by Gulnara Mitzanova, mezzo-soprano, who beautifully sang the composer's poignant None but the lonely heart. The musical portion of the evening ended with Prelude in C sharp minor of Sergei Rachmaninoff nobly played by the eminent pianist Eteri Andjaparidze. The Society is grateful to these extraordinary artists for a memorable evening.
In addition, the evening included a special display of current and estate jewelry collections by Van Cleef & Arpels, a jeweler to Russian nobility and aristocracy since the 1920's.
The Russian Children's Welfare Society applauds the generosity of Peter Tcherepnine, Event Sponsor and Corporate Sponsors - Alexandra Investment Management, LLC and Aton Securities Inc.