Tag Archives: musician

Old Westbury Gardens Winter Holiday – Now & Then

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
December 23, 2017

Last Sunday, while entering the snowy grounds of Old Westbury Gardens with my friend Bob, I thought back to 2007, when I visited the Gold Coast estate during a biting, heavy snowfall.

Past

That day 10 Decembers ago, I stayed outside capturing photos until I absolutely had to go to Westbury House, beg mercy from staff in the Entrance Hall, take off my gloves and boots, and stand toasty close to the fireplace.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. Dec. 5, 2007. At Westbury House, the Entrance Hall window with black wrought iron grill gives hazy glimpse of snowstorm. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 5, 2007. At Westbury House, the Entrance Hall window with black wrought iron grill gives hazy glimpse of snowstorm. (© 2007 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Slowly defrosting in the impressively elegant wood and marble hall, I imagined myself back outside the mansion, but during the Great Blizzard of 1947, when the John and Margarita Phipps family lived there….

Fantasy ’47

I was a trespasser with a noble mission – wielding my Kodak in the snowstorm to capture ghostlike images of trees – and, alas, flirting with hypothermia.

Without warning, a tall stranger swept me off my numb feet and whisked me to the mansion. As we took off our coats, I noticed he, too, had a camera strapped around his neck.

We sat in front a fireplace surrounded by books, and he put his hand to his chest. “Victor, Victor Hasselblad – a… a husgäst of Phipps,” he said softly and with a melodic accent. “And you, lilla frusen lövsångare?”   

“Oh my,” “I said, “You’re THE Victor Hasselblad!” The genius nodded. “You’ve just GOT to develop a Hasselblad camera for civilians!” I said, then started to tell him why….

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. A lighted Christmas tree decorates the formal dining room of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens during its Winter Holiday event. (Ann Parry/˙ 2017 Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. A lighted Christmas tree decorates the elegant dining room of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens during its Winter Holiday event. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Present

Now I’m at times better about coming in from the cold before losing feeling in my extremities.

But I always do my best to protect my camera. So last weekend when Bob and I arrived at Old Westbury Gardens and stepped out of the car on to slippery icy snow-covered grounds, we headed straight to Westbury House.

Once inside, we heard what sounded like live music coming from the Ballroom just ahead. We were right, for in a far corner of the vast room, pianist ANGELINA FUSCO was playing traditional Christmas music on a Steinway grand piano, backlit by large windows. Capturing the atmospheric scene was a fun challenge.

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Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Pianist ANGELINA FUSCO plays Christmas music on Steinway grand piano to entertain visitors at Old Westbury Gardens museum, a former estate of John Shaffer Phipps, during snowy winter holiday weekend on Long Island's Gold Coast. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. Dec. 17, 2017. Pianist ANGELINA FUSCO plays Christmas music on Steinway grand piano at Old Westbury Gardens museum during Winter Holiday weekend. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The Main Hall was not to be missed, especially for families with children, since that’s where Santa sat surrounded by a Christmas tree, fireplace that was a great setting for holiday photos, and stairway strewn with stuffed animals looking as if they’d spilled out of Santa’s bag as he made his way up to the Children’s Quarters on the Third floor.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Santa sits ready for visitors next to a Christmas tree on second floor of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens museum during snowy winter holiday weekend. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Santa sits ready for visitors next to a Christmas tree on second floor of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens museum during winter holiday weekend. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bob lingered longest in the bedroom with a large-scale model train traveling around the room, disappearing for a while each lap as it followed tracks under the bed.

Children (of all ages) also enjoyed the charming scene in Mrs. Phipps’s bathroom, where deer and penguins watched a fawn take a bubble bath in the green and white bathtub.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. In the Westbury House children's sunny bathroom of Old Westbury Gardens museum, deer and penguins watch over fawn taking a bubble bath. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Deer family and penguins watch over a fawn taking a bubble bath in Mrs. Phipps’s bathroom at Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens, a Long Island Gold Coast estate. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

As closing time neared, we visited the Porch facing West, with its three walls of windows, and enjoyed hot cider and the panoramic, ungilded dusk view.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. At Westbury House, two Christmas trees flank the Porch facing West, with panoramic view of snowy grounds during Winter Holiday event at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2017, Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. At Westbury House, two Christmas trees flank the Porch facing West, with panoramic view of snowy grounds during Winter Holiday event at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

And when it was time to go, we made our way through the snow once again.

Old Westbury Gardens Winter 2017:  SLIDESHOW | GALLERY

Stanley Drucker Concert in Merrick, New York, 2010

Stanley Drucker Concert 2010

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
November 20, 2010

Last Saturday, world-famous clarinetist Stanley Drucker gave a concert presented by the Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association at Calhoun High School. Naomi Drucker, his wife and fellow clarinetist; and Marilyn Sherman Lehman, pianist, also performed, to the added delight of the audience.

MERRICK - NOV 13, 2010: Stanley Drucker, world famous Clarinetist formerly of New York Philharmonic for 60 years, performing during MBCCA concert (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

>Merrick, NY, USA. Nov. 13, 2010. Clarinetist Stanley Drucker, formerly of New York Philharmonic performing during concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

While dropping off concert flyers at the Drucker home the week before the concert, I told Mrs. Drucker I’d like to take photos during concert night. She looked up, smiling. “Since you’re a photographer,” she said, “you might enjoy our photos.”

What an understatement! And suddenly I was on a fun and moving tour of photos, posters, and other artwork throughout their home, including guest bathroom – all which helped bring to life the professional musical careers of the Drucker family: dad Stanley and mom Naomi, classical musicians; son Leon, double bassist Lee Rocker for The Stray Cats; and daughter Rosanne Drucker, alternative country singer.

Stanley Drucker, world famous clarinetist and former member of New York Philharmonic for 60 years, and Naomi Drucker, clarinetist and her wife, performing at MBCCA Concert, New York, November 13, 2010 (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Clarinetist Stanley Drucker, and clarinetist Naomi Drucker his wife, and pianist Marilyn Sherman Lehman performing at MBCCA Concert. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Naomi Drucker is an enchanting wood sprite come to life, which made me look forward to the concert not only for the music, but for the chance to photograph such warm, charismatic Long Islanders.

MERRICK - NOV. 13: Marilyn Sherman, pianist, after performing with Stanley Drucker and Naomi Druciker in concert presented by Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Association, November 13, 2010, in Merrick, NY, USA (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. November 13, 2010.  Pianist Marilyn Sherman performing during Stanley Drucker concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Assoc.  (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

It can be quite challenging to capture concert photos of instrumentalists, where about 95% of the photo is dark costumes, grand piano, and stage curtains and the rest is face, hands, and a tuxedo shirt that all seem to be about 9-light-stops away. I used my Nikon D200 with Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens, and did my best – including 1600 ISO and exposure compensation – but it’s motivated me to seriously consider getting the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, so I can use my Nikon D700 for similarly extreme lighting situations in future.

MERRICK - NOV. 13: Stanley Drucker, clarinetist; with (R) wife Naomic Drucker, with bouquet of flowers during curtain call after performing in concert presented by Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Association, November 13, 2010, in Merrick, NY, USA (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. November 13, 2010. Clarinetist Stanley Drucker with his wife clarinetist Naomi Drucker, during curtain call after performing in concert presented by Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Assoc. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Though Mr. Drucker retired last year after a stellar 60 year career with the New York Philharmonic, he remains an active international performer.

When I think about how our Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association* was formed a few years after Mr. Drucker joined the NY Philharmonic, I’m in awe of his legendary career.

FYI from Long Island:  *MBCCA was founded in 1953 by Betty Mordoff Hendrix, my mother Mary Ann Parry, Leon Summit, and Bertha Winter.

Stanley Drucker Concert:   GALLERY  |  SLIDESHOW

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  • NOTE:  Above post is updated version of one from my former blog.