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Broadway Veteran Bernadette Peters Dazzles Symphony at Salk Audience

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Even a torrential morning rainstorm failed to dampen excitement for the 14th annual Symphony at Salk concert held Aug. 22 at the Institute's cliff-top courtyard overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Mother Nature was quickly upstaged by a spectacular evening of music that combined the talents of multi-award winning performer Bernadette Peters and the San Diego Symphony led by returning guest conductor Thomas Wilkins.

Nearly 700 people gathered at the Institute to enjoy an exceptional evening of dining and entertainment at the sold-out fundraiser that raised more than $784,000—a new record—to benefit the Salk's groundbreaking research and its community outreach programs.

Peters dazzled the audience with her amazing vocal range that ensured every song was delivered to ultimate effect. She performed an eclectic mix of selections that showcased her versatility whether she was strutting through the Broadway belter "Ain't Nothing Like a Dame," heating things up with "Fever," or singing the sweet and poignant ballad "Shenandoah."

Peters easily connected with the audience between songs, delighting them with playful conversation and racy banter that kept the show at a lively pace until her exhilarating finale, which included a haunting rendition of "I Honestly Love You" and "Some Other Time."

Her show was preceded by a rousing performance by the San Diego Symphony under the skillful direction of Maestro Wilkins playing selections by Franz von Suppe, Gabriel Faure and a stirring rendition of Johann Strauss Jr.'s "Emperor Waltzes."

A champagne reception kicked off the festivities as guests mingled in the eucalyptus grove and bid on several unique items offered at the event's first-ever silent auction. Prior to the start of the concert, they also enjoyed a delectable meal prepared by critically acclaimed award-winning chef and owner of Pamplemousse Grille Jeffrey Strauss, who catered the event for the second year in a row.