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A Look at 2 Lunar New Year Bashes, Worlds Apart

A Look at 2 Lunar New Year Bashes, Worlds Apart

On Saturday evening in Los Angeles, the Lunar New Year celebrations continued as Hollywood’s Milk Studios was transformed for the inaugural Moonrise Gala by 88rising, the pan-Asian music collective and record label.

Like 88rising, which helps Asian artists find mainstream success in the West, the event was focused on highlighting pioneering Asian performers, past and present.

The night’s honorees spanned contemporary artists like the musicians Anderson .Paak, Jackson Wang and NIKI; the “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” director Destin Daniel Cretton; and influential figures like the ’90s dance-pop singer Jocelyn Enriquez and the Bay Area turntablist group Invisibl Skratch Piklz.

“We’re just going to celebrate people that have really unique stories to tell,” Sean Miyashiro, 88rising’s founder, said. The collective also has plans to release music and videos with the night’s honorees, including Ms. Enriquez and Invisibl Skratch Piklz.

Attendees entered through the venue’s arched red tunnel, dripping with fringe, into a space outfitted with dangling LED pendant lights.

Before the ceremony, guests were offered small plates of Wagyu beef dishes including sliders, curry and kebabs. After brief remarks and performances from some of the honorees, they were each presented with a bespoke medal housed in an illuminated velvet-lined jewelry box designed by the New York jeweler Anna Kikue.

The purpose of the event was to provide recognition for artists who “deserve their flowers,” said Mr. Miyashiro.

“Because a lot of young kids all over the world are part of our audience,” he said, “I want to show them the greatness of the people who inspired a lot of the sounds that we love and grew up on.”

The Lunar New Year traditions continued on Tuesday night at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic’s gala in Manhattan.

More than 300 people took part in the event, which raised over $1.2 million (a milestone for the Lunar New Year gala). A performance, conducted by Long Yu, was followed by a dinner honoring Misook Doolittle, a board member of the Philharmonic.

The gala has taken place annually since 2012. In that time, “we’ve hosted an entire lunar cycle, from dragon to dragon,” said H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang, a co-chair of the party. (She is also married to the co-chairman of the Philharmonic’s board, Oscar Tang).

Guests in brightly colored ensembles — pinks, yellow and red hanboks and cheongsams or qipaos, and emerald greens ball gowns — commanded the red carpet almost past cocktail hour.

Past the congestion of attendees making their way to the Wu Tsai Theater for the performance were Deborah Borda, the former head of the Philharmonic; The Chinese consul general, Huang Ping; and Angela Chen, a co-chair of the event and a member of the Philharmonic’s board.

“It’s always a treat to dress up,” said Maye Musk, a model and Elon Musk’s mother, who wore a silver, disco-ball-like caftan. “You know you can get over the top tonight.”

The concert featured classics like Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and “Carnival of the Animals,” by Saint-Saëns, narrated by Jamie Bernstein, an author and the daughter of the conductor Leonard Bernstein, who said she grew up listening to the piece. The lineup also included Elliot Leung’s “Lunar Overture” and selections from Zhou Tian’s “Transcend.”

Mr. Yu, who helped establish the gala in 2012 and has conducted the performances for most of them, said that the event was an opportunity to propel artists within the Asian diaspora onto the Philharmonic’s New York stage, which has the oldest symphony orchestra in the country.

At dinner, tall candles towered over red and orange flower arrangements. Tucked between plates of rice cakes with scallion pancakes and five-spice duck with noodles were golden walnuts and tangerines, one of the many fruits central to the Lunar New Year tradition.

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