Beach Blanket Beethoven

Classical music meets South Beach yuppie

Sagebien put it this way: "I think there's a lack of things to do here that are as much socially uplifting as culturally uplifting," but, he adds, Friends of New World defies that superficial stereotype.

Introductions and thank-yous dispensed with, Glassman descended from the stage and the performance began. Conversation subsided and attention focused on the dreamy — if slightly rough-edged — performance. In ten minutes it was over.

"Too short," declared Juliette Dutoit, a 28-year-old native of France in attendance with some friends.

Marian Morgan, another attendee, who gave her age as "old enough" but guaranteed she would always consider herself "both young and professional," confessed disappointment: "As an older young person, I don't think they're giving the audience a chance to relax in to the music," she explained. "It sort of cheapens it into another South Beach thing."

"We wanted to keep the energy up," Budish responded.

By 7:30 p.m. the guests began to depart, passing by a sign that read "Friends of New World Symphony, Private Event" and picking up complimentary gift bags on the way. Inside? Plum-color nail polish by Goldie cosmetics, Smashbox lip gloss, Frizz-Ease hair products, and a subscription card for Friends of New World Symphony.

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