Sonoma State University will present 20 concerts during the Green Music Center's inaugural 2012-2013 season that reflect a broad range of music, including performances by top musicians from the worlds of classical, opera, jazz and world music.
Headliners include cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Spanish world-music singer Buika and bluegrass-country singer Alison Krauss.
The program was announced Friday in the Green Music Center's Weill Hall by SSU President Ruben Arminana and Sanford I. Weill, chair of the Green Music Center Board of Advisors.
"Not only will the center create an innovative learning environment for students... but it will provide an economic boost to the area and help diversify its tourist base," Weill said. "Today's announcements further enhance the reputation of San Francisco and the whole North Bay as one of the world's premier cultural destinations."
Also as part of the SSU program, Clos Pegase Winery founders Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem have underwritten an eight-concert Vocal Arts Series that includes concerts by the Tallis Scholars, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato with Il Complesso Barocco and other stars of the early-music, opera and vocal worlds.
The Sonoma State-sponsored concerts will be in addition to the Santa Rosa Symphony's full season of performances and four Thursday night concerts by the San Francisco Symphony, including two led by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas.
Berkeley impresario Robert Cole planned the SSU season in collaboration with Jeff Langley, artistic director of the Green Music Center and Director of SSU's School of Performing Arts.
The opening of the $120 million hall this fall on the Rohnert Park campus will mark the culimination of 15 years of fund-raising, construction and controversy.
The 1,400-seat hall, designed by architect William Rawn of Boston, was modeled after Seiji Ozawa Hall in Tanglewood in western Massachusetts and has a back wall that fully opens to a terraced lawn.
Four performances are planned for the Grand Opening Weekend Sept. 29-30 that will utilize the indoor and two outdoor spaces of Weill Hall. There will be picnic tables and seating on the lawn south of the concert hall. Also, video screens and audio equipment will broadcast the concerts to patrons seated east of the hall, outside in the Weill Commons.
World-famous concert pianist Lang Lang will headline the opening weekend, which will also feature a Sunrise Choral Concert Sept. 30 showcasing original music by Langley. The choral concert will be performed by community and university ensembles, soprano Ruth Ann Swenson and other guest soloists.
Later that afternoon, the Santa Rosa Symphony will take the stage for its first official concert led by Music Director Bruno Ferrandis, with guest appearances by former music directors Jeffrey Kahane and Corrick Brown. That night, Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas will present a concert of bluegrass music.
On-Campus Presents, a student-centered presenting group, will schedule contemporary artists, recording industry legends, comedians, dance, and a speaker and lecture series at the hall. Details will be revealed as events are confirmed.
Here is SSU's season schedule:
Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.: Pianist Lang Lang
Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.: Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas
Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.: Soprano Karina Gauvin with pianist Michael McMahon