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Scene Last Night: Krawcheck, Deborah Voigt, Lagarde’s Nietzsche

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Gary Parr, vice chairman, Lazard Ltd., and chairman, New York Philharmonic, with Don Randel, president, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Gary Parr, vice chairman, Lazard Ltd., and chairman, New York Philharmonic, with Don Randel, president, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Close

Gary Parr, vice chairman, Lazard Ltd., and chairman, New York Philharmonic, with Don Randel, president, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Sallie Krawcheck. Close

Sallie Krawcheck.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Karole Armitage, choreographer, and Alan Gilbert, music director, New York Philharmonic. "Even though we've done so much together, we're still sitting on the edge of our seats," Gilbert said of the orchestra. Close

Karole Armitage, choreographer, and Alan Gilbert, music director, New York Philharmonic. "Even though we've done so... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

J. Christopher Flowers, founder, JC Flowers & Co. LLC. and New York Philharmonic board member. Close

J. Christopher Flowers, founder, JC Flowers & Co. LLC. and New York Philharmonic board member.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Anne Gray, Jon Corzine, CEO, MF Global Holdings Inc. and Evelyn Ruggieri. Close

Anne Gray, Jon Corzine, CEO, MF Global Holdings Inc. and Evelyn Ruggieri.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Daria Foster, managing partner, Lord Abbett & Co. LLC. and New York Philharmonic board member. Foster served as a gala co-chairman. Close

Daria Foster, managing partner, Lord Abbett & Co. LLC. and New York Philharmonic board member. Foster served as a gala co-chairman.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Deborah Voigt. Close

Deborah Voigt.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Gunter Dunkel, chairman of the managing board of Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale. Close

Gunter Dunkel, chairman of the managing board of Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Diane Tuft and Thomas Tuft, chairman for global capital markets advisory, Lazard Ltd. Close

Diane Tuft and Thomas Tuft, chairman for global capital markets advisory, Lazard Ltd.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Frederick Kempe, president and chief executive of the Atlantic Council, with Natasha Paremski, pianist, and Adrienne Arsht, a chairman of the Atlantic Council's dinner. Close

Frederick Kempe, president and chief executive of the Atlantic Council, with Natasha Paremski, pianist, and Adrienne... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, World Economic Forum, Bahaa Hariri, member, Atlantic Council International Advisory Board, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Chuck Hagel, chairman, Atlantic Council and former Nebraska Senator. Close

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, World Economic Forum, Bahaa Hariri, member, Atlantic Council... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Ajit Jain, president, reinsurance division, Berkshire Hathaway Inc, and Leigh Ann Pusey, CEO, American Insurance Association. Close

Ajit Jain, president, reinsurance division, Berkshire Hathaway Inc, and Leigh Ann Pusey, CEO, American Insurance Association.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Bottles of Coca Cola turned up as reception table decor at the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Awards Dinner. Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, was a dinner chairman. Close

Bottles of Coca Cola turned up as reception table decor at the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Awards Dinner. Muhtar... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Victor Chu, chairman, First Eastern Investment Group. Close

Victor Chu, chairman, First Eastern Investment Group.

Just as the New York Philharmonic Opening Night Gala was getting under way, Gary Parr, vice chairman at Lazard Ltd. and chairman of the New York Philharmonic, estimated that his conversations would be 98 percent about music and 2 percent about markets.

By dessert time, under a tent on the Lincoln Center campus, Parr had revised his figures (“92 percent music, 8 percent bank crisis,” he said).

He was still an outlier.

“I’d say 37 percent music, 63 percent markets,” said Philharmonic board member J. Christopher Flowers, founder of JC Flowers & Co. “Where’s Wagner when we need him? He’d get the eurozone whipped into shape.”

The opening-night program included lots of Wagner, the composer who invested so much in Rhine gold, and the last scene from Richard Strauss’s statement on prophets and loss of head, “Salome.”

Deborah Voigt provoked ovations after blasting confidently as the teenage freak who slobbers loudly over the severed head.

Alan Gilbert, the N.Y. Phil’s music chief, led a rousing overture to “Tannhauser,” a grand opera about a minstrel down on his luck.

“It was uplifting,” said Sallie Krawcheck at the end of the concert, looking relaxed and happy a few weeks after she resigned from Bank of America following a management shakeup.

The gala raised $2.6 million, though reality kept intruding.

“Every meeting tonight, the first question is: How is Europe?” said Gunter Dunkel, chairman of the managing board of Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale.

“I say it has a 50/50 chance, but not more,” Dunkel said. “It depends on courageous political leadership. We all know what needs to be done, but they are tough decisions. They need to be explained to the electorate. The choices are between bad and worse.”

Christine Lagarde

At the Plaza Hotel, market talk was center stage as the Atlantic Council held its Global Citizens Award Dinner. The council, formed in 1961, works to strengthen the transatlantic relationship through public-policy discussions and research.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde received one of the council’s awards.

“When I look at the advanced economies going through difficult times, I think of two different philosophers,” Lagarde said.

“One is Schopenhauer, who said ‘Life is tough, and every day makes it worse,’” she said.

Unhappy Camper

She prefers the outlook of Nietzsche:

“He is not necessarily a happy camper, but happier in his conclusions. He said, ‘What does not destroy us, strengthens us.’”

Good thing there was a little music to lighten the mood. Joe Dassin’s upbeat “Aux Champs Elysees” played as Lagarde approached the stage, a fanciful and welcome flourish. After her remarks, pianist Natasha Paremski played Chopin and Rachmaninoff.

The 320 guests, who dined on filet mignon -- also served at the Philharmonic gala -- included: Adrienne Arsht, chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation; Victor Chu, chairman of First Eastern Investment Group; and Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Co. All were dinner chairmen as well.

The goody bag included a copy of “Berlin 1961” by the Atlantic Council’s president and chief executive, Frederick Kempe.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter at @amandagordon.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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