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Scene Last Night: Wilbur Ross, Kenneth Buckfire, Henry Cornell

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Wilbur Ross of WL Ross & Co. LLC.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Wilbur Ross of WL Ross & Co. LLC. Close

Wilbur Ross of WL Ross & Co. LLC.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Gillian Miniter, active in the Central Park Conservancy, Karen LeFrak, an author and New York Philharmonic board member, and Hilary Geary Ross, author of "New York New York," a book of photographs by Harry Benson. Close

Gillian Miniter, active in the Central Park Conservancy, Karen LeFrak, an author and New York Philharmonic board... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Consultants Charlotte Wu and Thomas Wu with Coco He and Yu Yue, CEO, Oriental Cambridge Education Group. Close

Consultants Charlotte Wu and Thomas Wu with Coco He and Yu Yue, CEO, Oriental Cambridge Education Group.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Gary Parr, Joan Weill and Sandy Weill. Close

Gary Parr, Joan Weill and Sandy Weill.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Alan Patricof of Greycroft Partners. Close

Alan Patricof of Greycroft Partners.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Noreen Buckfire, Kenneth Buckfire and Daisy Soros. Close

Noreen Buckfire, Kenneth Buckfire and Daisy Soros.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Kevin Ding and Andrew Xuejun Mao of China Merchants Bank with Ansso Wang of AIG. Close

Kevin Ding and Andrew Xuejun Mao of China Merchants Bank with Ansso Wang of AIG.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Zarin Mehta, president and executive director of the Philharmonic, arts patron Judith-Ann Corrente, and Graham Parker, head of WQXR. Close

Zarin Mehta, president and executive director of the Philharmonic, arts patron Judith-Ann Corrente, and Graham Parker, head of WQXR.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Corinne Greenberg and Maurice Greenberg. Close

Corinne Greenberg and Maurice Greenberg.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Angela Cheng and Washington Sycip. Close

Angela Cheng and Washington Sycip.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Anthony Walton, vice chairman, Americas, Standard Chartered Bank, and Jennifer Walton, a consultant. Close

Anthony Walton, vice chairman, Americas, Standard Chartered Bank, and Jennifer Walton, a consultant.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The Quintessenso Mongolian Children's Choir. Close

The Quintessenso Mongolian Children's Choir.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Henry Cornell of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Vanessa Cornell with Tishman Speyer's Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer. Close

Henry Cornell of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Vanessa Cornell with Tishman Speyer's Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

A post-concert dinner featured tables decorated with red Anemones. Van Vliet & Trap handled the decor. Close

A post-concert dinner featured tables decorated with red Anemones. Van Vliet & Trap handled the decor.

At the New York Philharmonic’s Year of the Dragon gala last night, plenty of guests had advice for doing business in China.

Wilbur Ross, dressed in a black-and-red Chinese jacket, said, “You’re dealing with a much more sophisticated culture than we have.”

Thomas Wu, a consultant based in Dusseldorf, Germany, who helps foreign companies do business in China, was more exact.

“When you invest according to the Five Year Plan, the likelihood of success is high,” Wu said. “The plan is future- oriented, so good investments are clean tech, renewable energy and rare earths, used to produce LED chips. China will be leading in lighting products.”

As Kenneth Buckfire, chief executive officer of Miller Buckfire & Co., mingled with fellow Philharmonic board member Daisy Soros, Gary Parr, Philharmonic chairman and vice chairman of Lazard Ltd. (LAZ), talked with Joan Weill about Alvin Ailey’s tentative plans to perform in China.

Ansso Wang of American International Group Inc. (AIG) knew the Year of the Dragon was auspicious: “This is the year to have children.”

The topic of doing business with China returned as waiters passed duck rolls and dumplings.

U.S. diplomat Nicholas Platt, father of actor Oliver Platt and restaurant critic Adam Platt, said the key is to “keep showing up.”

“Be patient,” added Andrew Xuejun Mao, chief marketing officer of the New York branch of China Merchants Bank (600036) Co.

“Ensure you have a really good Chinese friend,” said Anthony Walton, vice chairman, Americas, at Standard Chartered Bank.

Dragon Puppet

“All of the above,” said Maurice Greenberg, chairman and chief executive of C.V. Starr & Co.

The concert at Avery Fisher Hall began, to the beating of a drum wrapped in red silk. A dragon puppet danced across the stage.

The showstopper was the Quintessenso Mongolian Children’s Choir, from the area of the Hulun Buir Grassland. Dressed in colorful robes, boots and white-fur pompoms, the 22 children performed folk songs without an ounce of stage fright.

Their sweet voices and Lady Gaga-caliber dance moves earned them a standing ovation, led by Damian Woetzel, a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and Alan Patricof, managing director and founder of Greycroft Partners LLC.

At intermission, Henry Cornell, a partner at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), said he was looking forward to the oboe piece, “Extase” by Quigang Chen, featuring New York Philharmonic oboist Liang Wang.

“I played the bassoon and oboe until I was 16,” Cornell said. “Now my 6-year-old is studying piano. We take lessons together on Saturday mornings.”

(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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