Sonoma State University announced Monday the appointment of Emmanuel Morlet as the first full-time artistic director of the Green Music Center.
When he takes over on April 1, Morlet will assume responsibility for all artistic decisions at the center, located on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park.
"It's really a good time for our organization to have some permanent, full-time guidance," said Jessica Anderson, marketing manager of the Green Music Center. "It's a time when we're looking for our identity and for our brand, and having an artistic director with so much experience will help us define ourselves."
Morlet, who is currently director of the Music Office for the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, takes over from former Artistic Director Jeff Langley, who also serves as director of the SSU's School of Performing Arts.
"Jeff Langley was the acting artistic director, but he wears a lot of hats around the university," Anderson said. "He has been assisted by Robert Cole as an artistic consultant."
Cole, who directed Cal Performances at UC Berkeley from 1986 until his retirement in 2009, was contracted to help plan the first season of the center, which runs through May, as well as the 2013-14 season, expected to be announced in mid-March.
A citizen of both France and the U.S., Morlet has served as a liaison at the embassy between both French and American artists in the music industry. He has also served as program officer for the French-American Cultural Exchange (FACE) Foundation in New York.
In New York, he has organized and co-founded several festivals, including the GlobalFest world music festival and Sounds French, a month-long festival of contemporary music.
Morlet was chosen by a search committee consisting of faculty, staff, student representativs and the GMC Board of Advisors. He plans to relocate to the West Coast in March with his wife and two children.
"To join a new performing arts center at this inaugural moment is a real honor," Morlet said in a press release. "I look forward to working together to bring Sonoma County the very best that the performing arts have to offer."
An accomplished musician, Morlet has programmed across multiple genres, including classical, jazz, popular, world and electronic music.
"His international experience working with world-class performers and emerging artists is just the right mix," SSU President Ruben Arminana said in a press statement. "We are pleased to provide him a new canvas on which he can further the arts in the North Bay and beyond."
A native of France, Morlet studied at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and at Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand, where he majored in French literature while studying communications, music and arts administration.
Larry Furukawa-Schlereth will continue as executive director of the center, overseeing the staff and operations of the year-round performance center.
The Green Music Center and its 1,400-seat Weill Hall launched its inaugural season in the fall of 2012 with an international line-up of classical, jazz and world music artists.