$27,050 Raised in Sale of Artistic Violins at Westchester Philharmonic Benefit Gala

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The Sunday May 17th "Art of The Violin" gala at the Ritx Carlton Hotel in White Plains featured a benefit auction of six artistically decorated violins by prominent Westchester Artists that raised a total of $27,050 for the orchestra. The idea behind the auction was that of the orchestra's Executive Director Joshua Worby and it was implemented by founding member of the orchestra,: violinist, painter and sculptor David Tobey.

In an auction of custom created artistic violins, a total of $27,050 was raised this past Sunday, May 17th to benefit the Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra. The effort was spearheaded by New Rochelle painter and sculptor David Tobey, a founding member of the Westchester Philharmonic who has been working as a volunteer member of the committee organizing the orchestra's 2009 Spring Gala Benefit: "The Art of The Violin" for the past two months. The festive event, honoring Itzhak Perlman, the orchestra's Artistic Director, was held at the Ritz Carlton hotel in White Plains, NY with over 250 guests in attendance, and had been the original idea of the orchestra's Executive Director Joshua Worby.

Working on the Gala Committee, David contacted five prominent Westchester artists who all agreed to create unique one of a kind violins as objets d'art expressly for the Westchester Philharmonic. Worby had chosen David as the ideal person connected with both the Phil itself and the world of art to contact famous artists and to curate the violin collection. The violins were auctioned off at the gala, with 100% of all proceeds realized benefiting the Philharmonic. Participating artists include Stanley Eisenman, Charles Fazzino, Luis Perelman, Peri Schwartz and Arle Sklar Weinstein. Maestro Itzhak Perlman also created a violin of his own for the auction. A copy of the auction catalog illustrating the violins can be seen at http://www.altontobey.com/philharmoniccat.pdf.

But David wanted to do more for the benefit. After talking with his sister Judy, they agreed to distribute certificates to all attending the benefit gala, that enabled anyone who received one to purchase any of their late father's paintings direct from the estate through July 1, 2009 with a full 30% of all proceeds realized from these sales to go directly to the Westchester Philharmonic. A copy of the certificates distributed to all attendees at the gala can be seen at http://www.altontobey.com/philharmoniccert.pdf.

David and Judy's late father's paintings and murals are in the collections of over a dozen museums, and during his lifetime, Alton was known as "Westchester County's most famous living artist". For years both Alton, and David's mother Rosalyn, who had been a board member of the Philharmonic herself, were very active in their work for support of the orchestra, and David said that they would have wanted any profits from the sale of his work to go to such a worthy organization as the Phil.

More information on David can be found on his web site at http://www.davidtobey.com, and about his late father and his art, featuring over 400 images of his paintings created over the six decades of his career as a painter, at http://www.altontobey.org. David can be contacted at (914) 632-8226.

In his early years, David Tobey was surrounded by art 24/7. His father, being an inveterate teacher as well as a painter, passed on to him many of the techniques the elder Tobey had learned in his own career as an artist. Alton Tobey had six years of training at the Yale School of Fine Art and a subsequent four years teaching at Yale after receiving his MFA. Although David also attended classes at The Art Student's League in New York, it was this early education in art that his father gave him by the age of 21 that earned him probably more experience in painting than many other young people who had formally studied in art schools in their early years.

David's mother, Rosalyn Tobey also had no small influence upon David, as Rosalyn was both a concert pianist and music teacher. When the decision was made for him to choose an instrument, as was traditional to do in his family by the age of 12, David had selected the violin, which he also assiduously studied and played throughout his formative years.

But reaching his majority at this age of 21 gave David a keen awareness that a decision had to be made about the choice of a full-time career; and for this he decided on music -- very possibly because it was one in which a more secure future would be available, as opposed to painting -- where happenstance and serendipity are often the determiners of success and stability.

Never abandoning his painting, David went on to continue his musical studies at The Music Conservatory of Westchester, and for his proficiency, ultimately gained admission to the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York. He graduated Juilliard with a performance degree in 1975. In 2004, Joseph W. Polisi, President of Juilliard named David as one of a diverse group of 100 outstanding alumni of Juilliard to be included in a special publication commemorating the school's 2005-2006 Centennial, and he performed at the anniversary celebration as one of the guest conductors. David also holds a Master's Degree in Art from The College of New Rochelle.

To this day, David enjoys a busy career as a violinist and teacher, performing with many New York City freelance orchestras and for Broadway shows. He has vigorously continued his work in the visual arts, has had more than a dozen solo and group shows of both his paintings and his welded steel sculpture in Chelsea and SoHo galleries in New York City and at other venues in the tri-state area. He teaches music and art both privately and in public schools in New Rochelle where he lives, and performs regularly with the Westchester Philharmonic, that he joined as a founding member when they were formed as the New Orchestra of Westchester in 1983.


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