HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY TIBET HOUSE US
A Peaceful Vision of Bliss in the Time of Miracles
By Anita Marie Antonini
I had to postpone my trip to Los Angeles by a day because I just could not miss one of my favorite things: the Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall. It’s the 23rd year that this concert has taken place. Every year I continue to say “Happy New Year” until this Tibetan New Year Celebration.
2013 is the Year of the Water Snake and also the 25th Anniversary of the Tibet House US. For such an occasion, the post-concert dinner party was held at The Plaza Hotel where the honorary Chairperson, Uma Thurman, joined (Dad) Robert Thurman and the monks of the Drepung Monastery to a special celebration. Prayer Flags and all in the ballroom. Namaste to that.
Artistic Director Phillip Glass always excites and never disappoints in arranging a powerful program. Mostly peace driven mixed with a classical and contemporary ensemble that Carnegie Hall rarely sees or rather hears. These musicians are able to practice for just a couple of days beforehand.
Warm greetings on a chilly winter night led by Tibet House US Co-Founder and President Mr. Robert Thurman, along with a traditional benediction by the Monks of the Drepung Monastery (from near the suburb of Lhasa), began this evening’s diverse offerings, which included pieces by Philip Glass and the Scorchio Quartet, Tenzin Choegyal, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Ariel Pink, Rahzel, tune-yArDs, Ira Glass, Jesse Smith, and Patti Smith and her band. The high and the low of octaves, but all highs and no low here tonight, as ever.
Over the many years of attending, some highlights that I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing are everyone from David Bowie singing “Wild Is The Wind” accompanied by Mr. Glass’ piano (practically a cappella) to Iggy Pop’s stripping plus crowd surfing during his songs (practically awesome) and the one and only Patti Smith (absolutely) who usually corrals all the performers of the given evening onto the stage for her “People Have the Power” finale.
But the main reason we go is to celebrate Tibet’s culture, compassion, and need of freedom. “That the people have the power to redeem the works of fools” – People have the Power. Patti Smith. Don’t forget it.
Tibet House US was founded in 1987 by Columbia University professor Robert Thurman, actor Richard Gere and modern composer Philip Glass at the behest of the 14th H.H. Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.
Written by Anita Marie Antonini
Photography by Shaun Mader for Patrick McMullan.com
Design by Marie Havens
Atmosphere, Tibet House US Benefit Dinner Reception, The Plaza Hotel, NYC, February 21, 2013, Photography by Shaun Mader for Patrick McMullan.com