Green Music Center opens
THE $145 MILLION Green Music Center at Sonoma State University will open this weekend.
Bravos will echo far and wide this weekend as two decades of dreaming, planning and fundraising come to a stunning crescendo Saturday night when the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall at Sonoma State University holds its gala inaugural concert.
The performer will be 29-year-old Chinese piano sensation Lang Lang in a recital concert that has been sold out for months.
Lang Lang is just the opening act of a celebratory two days of music also featuring Alison Krauss and Union Station, with Jerry Douglas; the Santa Rosa Symphony with Music Director Bruno Ferrandis and a Sunrise Choral Concert.
The entire 2012-13 season will bring a diverse array of world-class artists to Sonoma County, many for the first time. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and Vadim Repin and the Modigliani Quartet with pianist Joyce Yang, are on the program in the months ahead. The upcoming rosteralso includes orchestral concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, a vocal arts series with the likes of Stephanie Blythe, Elina Garanca and Barbara Cook, a jazz and world music series and early music offerings headed by Handel’s Messiah presented by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, conducted by Japanese baroque specialist Masaaki Suzuki.
The Donald and Maureen Green Music Center, with its centerpiece the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, Lawn and Commons, are the realization of a long-held dream of Dr. Ruben Arminana, president
of Sonoma State University, who modeled Weill Hall after the Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood in Western Masschusetts, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The facility is distinguished for its superb acoustics and a back wall that opens to lawn seating.
Arminana hired the architect and acoustician from the Ozawa Hall, William Rawn Associates and Lawrence Kiergegaard, respectively, to bring the same level of quality here, and the resulting acoustics of the Weill Hall are impeccable and adjusted to each of 1,450 individual seats in the hall as well as to the 2,000 tables on the terraced grounds outside the sliding back wall. Pianist Lang Lang came to the hall months ago to test the acoustics and said, “I think the hall is extraordinary. I was very impressed with its acoustics and overall beautiful look.”
Arminana said his favorite thing about the hall is “the sound,” but he is also particularly proud to be able to bring this facility to a public university where students of all ages and backgrounds can come to learn from artists of the highest caliber.
The entire complex, estimated to cost in excess of $145 million, when complete, will include the Schroeder Recital Hall, a gift from Jean Schulz in memory of the Beethoven-obsessed Peanuts character created by her late husband; a multi-use education facility of offices, practice rooms and ensemble rooms; and soon, Mastercard will construct an outdoor amphitheater for amplified music, dance and large crowds.
A fine-dining restaurant and hospitality space will open in another month.