Blankfein Attends Neighbor Sting's Concert at Carnegie Hallby
Englishman in New York anchors benefit for education programs
DJ Hannah Bronfman appears at fish & chips dinner after show
Sting on stage at Carnegie Hall -- where he has performed more than 20 times, but never, until Monday night, as the sole headliner -- paused midway through his concert to recall a boyhood encounter with the Queen of England. Passing by his house in a giant black Rolls-Royce to christen a ship down the street, the Queen waved to him as he stood outside in his Sunday best.
"It was the first time in my life I’d been noticed by anyone," Sting, 64, said. He became "infected with the idea that I didn’t belong on this street, I didn’t belong in this house."
If any concert could remind him of his success, it was this evening’s. Sting had the full attention of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, who lives in the same apartment building as he does.
The apartments there are well sound proofed, so the Blankfeins don’t hear much from their musician neighbor, Laura Blankfein said at a cocktail party before the concert. That could benefit Sting, too, as the Blankfeins recently added a new, occasionally noisy visitor: their infant grandson, who with a bald pate looks a little like grandpa.
Laura Blankfein showed a picture of the boy dressed in white and blue, as her husband strolled through the room in ebullient grandpa style (without cigar), singing a tune (was it Sam Cooke?) as he greeted Goldman Sachs partner Valentino Carlotti.
"There’s the man, now the party’s started," Carlotti said.
Later Blankfein, who’s been undergoing treatment for lymphoma, had a powwow with Ed Forst, a former senior Goldman executive who is treasurer of Carnegie Hall and a chairman of the benefit built around Sting’s performance.
About the show: Backed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Sting arrived on stage to thunderous applause and immediately launched into "Englishman in New York," with the audience repeating the line, "Be yourself, no matter what they say."
Sting paused to dedicate the "entire evening" to his longtime manager Kathryn Schenker. “This is the last performance where she presides as my manager," he said segueing into "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic."
Sting dedicated the next song to his wife, Trudie Styler, and said he wants to spend his last moments sitting on the branches of a copper beech tree at his house in the English countryside "looking out toward the distant fields," before singing "Fields of Gold." (Forst’s favorite, he said, because "it is deeply soulful.")
His pop hits with the Police, "Roxanne" and "King of Pain," were on the set list, along with songs from "The Last Ship," the musical he wrote that had a short run on Broadway.
"My favorite love songs are not the ones where ‘I love you and you love me,” Sting said introducing "When We Dance.” “They seem insular, boring. What I prefer is ‘I love you but you love someone else, you belong to someone else.’"
"Desert Rose," the first of several encores, stirred several female members of the audience to stand up and dance. After much more applause, Sting cooled down the room with a quiet "Message in a Bottle," without the orchestra.
A gala for Sting fans meant something different for Carnegie Hall’s gala-entertaining department: there were two post-concert "Englishman in New York" dinners (think fish & chips). One was lounge-style, featuring Hannah Bronfman as a DJ, and the other seated at round tables.
“People are here I’ve never seen before," Forst said at the seated dinner, along with Barry Rosenstein, Sting and members of the Last Bandoleros, a Tex-Mex rock band. Upstairs drew trustees and gala leaders including Clarissa Bronfman, Joshua Nash and Sana Sabbagh, as well as Adam and Olivia Flatto, Theo Bleckmann and Jo Lawry, the singer who harmonized with Sting in the concert wearing two different dresses by Adeam.
New benefit faces included Sting fans Randy and Tia Risor of Fayetteville, Arkansas ("My wife would probably marry him over me, but we’re OK," said Randy Risor), and Joseph Lex, an emergency medical physician from Philadelphia who recalled Sting’s “I want my MTV” cameo on the Dire Straits hit “Money for Nothing.”
The event raised more than $2 million for education programs at Carnegie Hall, which Sting called a "hallowed, sacred venue," where he can "never, ever be blase" about performing.