The New World Symphony Gala is one of the most highly anticipated events of the season, and this year’s gala experienced record attendance. Funds raised will continue to support the New World Symphony, and provide: the scores and music performed; access to talented guest artists; the gifted maestros at the podium; their program in public schools, MusicLab, and the ability to offer what they do to students around the globe via Internet. 

The gala's theme, “Passing It On: 30 Years of Musical Innovation,” reflects the New World Symphony’s mission statement and reminds us of their extraordinary use of technology to “pass on” the music in an exciting way that engages younger audiences and reaches audiences that may not ordinarily have access to this music. 

Thierry Isambert’s gala production team found inspiration in the design of the gala logo on the invitation that used orbs of varying sizes to create the number 30. Expanding on this concept, the floral décor featured tight arrangements in tones of blue or white throughout the venue, with beautiful white floral orbs forming all the table centerpieces.

25 foot long LED Screen with a moving timeline of the New World Symphony's the milestone events since 1988.

As guests entered the New World Center, they strolled past a 25 foot long LED screen displaying a moving timeline, marking the impressive milestones achieved over the past thirty years. The delivery of this fluid, changing timeline in this digital format was in keeping with the the New World Symphony’s innovative use of technology to further their goals. Amongst the numerous events depicted were the 5 year anniversary celebrated with Gloria Estefan, the collaboration with the school in Columbia, the completion of the Frank Gehry designed New World Center in 2011, and the move from the Lincoln Theater.

The evening commenced with cocktail hour in the Atrium where waiters in immaculate white jackets offered  guests Champagne when they arrived. As dusk settled and the natural light that fills the Atrium began to dim, the digital mapping on the Atrium’s sails appeared along with stunning patterns of moving orbs in keeping with the key visual of orbs strategically used throughout the décor.

Delectable small bites were passed around by servers until it was time for the performance with New World Symphony’s Artistic Director, Michael Tilson Thomas, on the podium. One of the most important tasks performed by the production team during the course of the evening is transforming the cocktail area in the Atrium into a dining area with 100 seats and immaculate décor while all the guests are enjoying the performance, no small task! Once the performance is over, a similar challenge is transforming the Performance Hall into a "night club" for the after party while everyone dines. 

Philly Cheese Steak & Black Pepper Gougere

Spiced Duck - Lingonberry Sauce, Pistachio Phyllo

Stone Crab Claws

Pigs In A Blanket with Grainy AND Yellow Mustard. An annual NWS Gala staple by special request of a prominent board member ;-)


The third floor Atrium is a unique space overlooking the atrium lobby and it offers dramatic views of the New World Center’s signature Gehry architecture. This was the first year this space was needed as a dining area due to the record number of attendees.


Adjacent to the Rooftop garden, the Donor’s Lounge seated approximately 80 guests and featured an LED screen with similar timeline content that was displayed on the long screen at the entrance.

The table cloths throughout the venue were custom designed featuring gold and blue pailettes under a sheer overlay. The pailletes in the linens reflected the lights beautifully.


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The main production lighting installation was featured in the Suntrust Pavilion, but a smaller version was suspended from the tent on the Rooftop Garden. When night fell, the Kinetic Orbs were programmed to glow, change color and move in an hypnotic rhythm.


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The stunning Kinetic Orb installation made its Florida debut at the New World Symphny's 30th annual gala! Once guests were seated in the Suntrust Pavillion, the orbs that had remained stationery until then, swirled in fascinating patterns overhead, dropping, rising and changing colors. Scroll down to the end of this post to see a video of the Kinetic Orb Installation in action!



Dining beneath the vaulted ceilings and cascading geometric shapes in the New World Center's Atrium is a treat. Moving orbs slid across the curved surfaces that float overhead.

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When gala atendees exited the Performance Hall, they discovered the Atrium transformed into a dinining area, and tables throughout the venue were set with the first course featuring a Grilled Vegetable Antipasto and meats, cheeses and breads served family style.


Thierry Isambert's culinary team chose the NWS Gala to debut the three entrées featured on the menu which included a fish, a meat and a vegan option. The entrées were served on plates decorated with fine gold orbs, staying true to the gold and blue color theme and keeping the circular or orb visual theme going throughout the evening.

FISH OPTION: BARRAMUNDI with Beluga Lentils, Granny Smith Puree & Ginger Asian Pear Chutney

MEAT OPTION: VEAL LOIN with Pickled Grape, Potato Fondant & Morel Mushrooms

VEGAN OPTION: GOLDEN CAULIFLOWER & JAPANESE MUSHROOM, with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree & Medley of Herbs

VEGAN OPTION: GOLDEN CAULIFLOWER & JAPANESE MUSHROOM, with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree & Medley of Herbs




If you're interested in seeing the New World Center set up with a completely different decor for a stunning wedding, CLICK HERE.

To see an overview of the different event spaces for rental at the New World Center, CLICK HERE.

Innovative Kinetic Orb lighting design for the New World Symphony's 30th Anniversary Gala. Gala production and catering by Thierry Isambert Culinary and Event Design.