NYC's Buckingham Hotel Installs Notable Paintings of Musicians Rubinstein and Rostropovich by World Renowned Artist Arbit Blatas at Event Featuring Opera Legend Regina Resnik and Notables from Music and Art Worlds

NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2002 --

Blatas' Portraits installed in Buckingham's Lobby On its 'Paderewski
Day' Emphasize Hotel's Commitment to Its Musical Heritage; Henry
Steinway Speaks about His Personal Experiences with Steinway
Artists Who Were Past Guests of the Buckingham Hotel

On a day celebrating the memory of its most famous guest, Ignacy Paderewski-composer, pianist and first Prime Minister of a free Poland following World War I-NYC's Buckingham Hotel last week installed portraits of Carnegie Hall greats, pianist Artur Rubinstein and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, painted by the renowned artist Arbit Blatas. The Hotel's location at 101 W. 57th Street, next door to Steinway Hall and across the street from Carnegie Hall, provides the perfect musical milieu for the paintings.

Over three hundred VIP's from the worlds of art and music were on hand for the unveiling of the art work, at which the artist's wife, famed opera soprano Regina Resnik, spoke and shared her personal stories of Blatas and insights into the famous Carnegie Hall performers he painted. Other notables in attendance included pianist Cipa Dichter, sculptor and philanthropist Dina Recanati, Marek Skulimowski, Vice-Consul of the Polish Consulate in NYC, and Djordge Stefanovic, Fashion Director for the respected Italian house Ermenegildo Zegna.

Saul Shapiro, senior partner of the family-owned Buckingham, was present at the event as was Stephen Shapiro, Managing Partner, who has spearheaded the implementation of the hotel's strategic plan. The family's goal is to continue the hotel's rich cultural history.

Stephen Shapiro explained: "You can see that the Buckingham didn't have to invent a theme to distinguish itself. Our guests, past and present, have endowed the Buckingham with a 'theme' of incredible value: music and the performing arts. We 'live' our theme, and the Blatas Carnegie Hall portraits are a wonderful testament to that. After all, his atelier was just blocks from here." He explained that conductors, opera stars and soloists continue to call the Buckingham their first choice in Manhattan.

Event guests had the opportunity to move from the lobby where the Blatas portraits--loaned to the Buckingham by Mme. Resnik (herself a past Buckingham guest)--are prominently displayed, to the "Patrons Lounge," a stylish and comfortable guest area complete with entertainment center. In the Patrons Lounge, the Hotel screened the 1947 film classic, "Carnegie Hall," on its flat panel display in which Artur Rubinstein performs and Walter Damrosch conducts.

From there, guests were invited to one of the Hotel's all-suites accommodations where Henry Z. Steinway, patriarch of Steinway & Sons, shared his memories of visiting legend Ignacy Jan Paderewski at the Buckingham and his personal experiences with that great musician and statesman. Stephanie Abrams, honored as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Travel, gave insights into the Hotel's uniquely rich musical history and the reasons why it remains today the hotel of choice for people interested in the arts and in quality accommodations in the musical heart of New York City. Among the important travel industry leaders in attendance were Juliette Pfeffer, President of the Metropolitan Association of Professional Travel Agents, and Bruce Serlen, Hotel Editor of Business Travel News.

In addition to Paderewski, some of the Buckingham's world-renowned guests included: Giuseppe De Luca, lead baritone at the Metropolitan Opera for over thirty years; Albertina Rasch, dancer and international choreographer for the both Broadway shows and Hollywood films; her husband, Dmitri Tiomkin, Academy Award-winning composer of such film scores as, "High Noon" and "The High and the Mighty;" and the great jazz sax Gato Barbieri.

Also on loan for the Buckingham Hotel event were portraits, photos and memorabilia of Paderewski provided by both Henry Steinway and the Polish Museum of America in Chicago which has an extensive collection of Paderewski's personal effects. Upon his death, all of the furnishings in Paderewski's suite at the Buckingham, including his Steinway practice piano, were donated to the Polish Museum which has recreated his living room, bedroom, and dining area complete with Buckingham Hotel branded china, silverware and table linens.

The event was another in a series of programs designed by the Buckingham Hotel to promote and support the arts as a result of its long relationship with performers. The Hotel recently announced the creation of "The Buckingham Prize for the Expression of Music Through Art," a juried art competition providing $17,000 of prize money. Judges for the first Buckingham Prize include: Graham Nickson, Dean of the New York Studio School, Ira Goldberg, Director of the Art Students League, and Mme. Regina Resnik, whose talents include film direction and opera set design. The competition is open to art students and faculty at seven major art schools in New York and offers a top prize of $10,000. The first winners will be announced in the Fall of 2003. Information on the competition is available by contacting the Hotel at 212-246-1500, ext. 3207 or by email request to

Buckingham Hotel
Stephen Shapiro
212-246-1500 ext 3210

Stephanie B. Abrams