Henry T. Segerstrom to Receive the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence

There are few achievements in life that could measure up to being named by Carnegie Hall as the next Medal of Excellence award winner. On June 7, Henry T. Segerstrom, developer of the luxe retail venue South Coast Plaza and founding chairman of the Orange County Performing Arts Center/the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, will know just what it feels like to claim such an accolade. Last Friday, the powers that be at legendary cultural institution announced Segerstrom’s top honor, along with a lengthy release that shines the spotlight on his lifetime of achievements.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with the 2008 Medal of Excellence Honoree Terry J. Lundgren (chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s, Inc.), and Sanford I. Weill (chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees),will serve as the honorary chairs of the gala benefit on Monday night, June 7, where Segerstrom will be honored at the New York Waldorf Astoria Starlight Roof.

Segerstrom’s outstanding leadership within the affluent Orange County has created a cultural landscape within the area that includes  contributions of land and funds, as well as commissioned works of architecture and environmental sculptures. His reach has been so powerful and influential that we named him one of our Power Players of Orange County in our May/June issue of Haute Living Los Angeles. With Segerstrom’s recent 2009 alliance between Carnegie Hall and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the community has been fortunate to grow and achieve new levels of excellence within an artistic musical culture.

The guest list for the exclusive fete will feature honored faces such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Joshua Bell, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, William Friedkin, Frank Gehry, Helmut Jahn, Lang Lang, Charles Lawrence, Anna Netrebko, The Noguchi Museum, César Pelli, Richard Serra, Robert Wilson, and Michael York, with a special performance by much-admired mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.

And the sponsor list reads like a who’s who of some of our favorite luxury labels: Cartier, Christian Dior, Harry Winston, Hermès of Paris, Inc., Loro Piana, Louis Vuitton, Montblanc, Piaget, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Tourbillon, and Valentino.

Official statements from both Weill and Segerstrom are as follows:

“Carnegie Hall is thrilled to present its fourth Medal of Excellence to Henry T. Segerstrom,” said Sanford I. Weill. “Henry’s dedication to developing the unique cultural landscape of Orange County, California as well as his commitment as a champion of the arts has made him the ideal honoree for this year’s medal. He has also been the driving force in bringing Carnegie Hall’s major international festivals to the West Coast.”

“Since first donating a parcel of land to the Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory Theater almost 35 years ago, we at South Coast Plaza have believed in the need for the business community to support the arts,” Mr. Segerstrom said. “Such support builds communities, and through our bi-coastal partnership with Carnegie Hall, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts has achieved a new level of excellence in serving the Orange County community, while reaching out as never before on the national stage. I am deeply honored to receive Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence, and look forward to many future collaborations with this great institution.”

The gala will include a cocktail reception and dinner followed by a brief program and award ceremony with all proceeds from the event benefiting the Carnegie Hall’s artistic and education programs. To reserve a table, call the Gala Office at 212.903.9679 or email gvallen@carnegiehall.org.