A Midsummer Night's Gala Raises $1.5 Million


In an enchanting and star-studded event, the biennial gala on April 25 united Juilliard’s generous supporters for a fête celebrating the school’s interdisciplinary artistry. A unique semistaged concert performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream wove together the words of Shakespeare and the music of Mendelssohn, featuring esteemed alumni and current students. Phillipa Soo (Group 41, Hamilton on Broadway), Gabriel Ebert (Group 38, Tony winner, Matilda, original Broadway cast), and Nick Choksi (Group 39, debuting on Broadway this fall in Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812) portrayed Shakespeare’s beloved characters, while Alan Gilbert (Pre-College ’85; MM ’94, orchestral conducting) led the Juilliard Orchestra, soloists Naomi O’Connell and Christine Taylor Price, and Brooklyn Youth Chorus in Mendelssohn’s scintillating score. The performance was directed and adapted by Vocal Arts faculty member John Giampietro, and based on a performing edition created by Juilliard provost and dean Ara Guzelimian. Attendees closed the evening with an elegant black-tie dinner on the David Geffen Hall Grand Promenade, where guests were thanked for their support, which raised over $1.5 million—proceeds that will benefit current and future students.


Relive the excitement by watching our 60-second video recap or browsing our complete photo album on Facebook! Share your memories, tag your friends, and follow real-time updates from the gala: #juilliardgala. (Click on the photos below to enlarge them.)

Nick Choksi

Nick Choksi (Group 39) (photo by Rosalie O’Connor)

Phillipa Soo

Phillipa Soo (Group 41) (photo by Rosalie O’Connor)

Nick Choksi and Gabriel Ebert

Nick Choksi (Group 39) and Gabriel Ebert (Group 38) (photo by Rosalie O’Connor)                            

Performers take a bow

Group bows: Gabriel Ebert, Phillipa Soo, Alan Gilbert, Nick Choksi, Juilliard Orchestra, soloists Christine Price and Naomi O’Connell, and Brooklyn Youth Chorus (photo by Rosalie O’Connor)

Joseph and Elizabeth Polisi

Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi and Elizabeth Polisi at the V.I.P. cocktail hour (photo by Rosalie O’Connor)

Bruce and Suzie Kovner

Bruce and Suzie Kovner (Juilliard chairman and Gala vice chair, respectively) (photo by Jonathan Tichler)

Barbara Fleischman

Barbara Fleischman (Gala chair, founder of the Juilliard Drama Council) (photo by Patrick McMullan)

Christopher and Beth Kojima

Christopher and Beth Kojima (Juilliard vice chair and Gala vice chair, respectively) (photo by Patrick McMullan.)

Steven Pasquale and Phillipa Soo

Steven Pasquale and Phillipa Soo (photo by Jonathan Tichler)

 Gabriel Ebert, John Giampietro, Nick Choksi, and Alan Gilbert

Gabriel Ebert, John Giampietro (Gala director), Nick Choksi, and Alan Gilbert (photo by Patrick McMullan)

James Houghton and Joyce O’Connor

James Houghton, Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division, and Joyce O’Connor (photo by Jonathan Tichler)

Laura Linney

Alumna and board member Laura Linney (photo by Patrick McMullan)

Aaron Flagg and Cristina Flagg

Aaron Flagg, chair and associate director of Juilliard Jazz, and Cristina Flagg (photo by Patrick McMullan)

Courtney Burton

Alumna and Juilliard Global Ventures managing director for operations Courtney Burton (photo by Patrick McMullan)


The elegant table settings featured centerpieces with photos from notable alumni student days. (photo by Patrick McMullan)


Black-tie dinner on the David Geffen Hall Grand Promenade (photo by Jonathan Tichler)

Alumni and faculty

Keshav Moodliar, Stephanie Thompson, Nick Choksi, Darryl “D.J.” Daughtry, Anya Whelan-Smith, Tracie Thomason, Jan Clough, Ara Guzelimian, James Houghton, and Joyce O’Connor (photo by Patrick McMullan)

Gabriel Ebert, Phillipa Soo, and Nick Choksi

Gala performers Gabriel Ebert, Phillipa Soo, and Nick Choksi thank attendees for their support. (photo by Jonathan Tichler)

Alan Gilbert

Alan Gilbert addresses the crowd and thanks Joseph W. Polisi for his leadership. (photo by Jonathan Tichler)


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