Inaugural Season at Weill Hall

Lineup Includes o Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Wynton Marsalis and More
April 2, 2012
weill hall

Sonoma State University has announced the inaugural season programming for Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, Lawn and Commons at the Donald & Maureen Green Music Center on the Rohnert Park campus.

A diverse array of the world's most distinguished performers from classical music, opera, jazz and world music will grace the stage - including Yo Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Wynton Marsalis, Elina Garanca, Barbara Cook and composer John Adams.

A majority of them will be making their first appearances in Sonoma County with these performances.  

The 2012-13 season officially opens Saturday, September 29 in a celebratory opening night in Weill Hall featuring international piano sensation Lang Lang in recital. A formal opening night dinner follows the concert. 

The following Sunday morning (Sept. 30), Weill Hall hosts a Sunrise Choral Concert with original music composed by Jeff Langley and text by Amanda McTigue featuring Sonoma County-based vocal/choral ensembles, special guest soloists including opera star Ruth Ann Swenson and SSU's musical ensembles and singers.  

Later on Sunday, the Santa Rosa Symphony takes the stage for the first official concert in its new home. Led by Music Director Bruno Ferrandis and featuring former music directors Jeffrey Kahane and Corrick Brown for the first time on one program, this celebratory concert includes Ravel's Boléro, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, Copland's Canticle of Freedom and a world premiere from Sonoma County composer Nolan Gasser. 

To conclude the celebration, Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas present a special Sunday evening concert.  

Both the indoor and outdoor spaces of the Green Music Center will be unveiled during the grand opening weekend, with Weill Hall, Lawn and Commons open for the performances by Lang Lang, the Santa Rosa Symphony and Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas. Inspired by Seiji Ozawa Hall, the rear wall of Weill Hall opens onto terraced grounds, where picnic tables and lawn seating offer patrons a different perspective of the performance. 

Large video screens and audio equipment will broadcast the performances to patrons seated in the Weill Commons, just east of the concert hall. With beautiful views of the surrounding Sonoma Wine Country, these outdoor spaces offer a Tanglewood-like experience to an additional capacity of 15,000 concertgoers. 

Further details on the formal opening night festivities will be announced at a later date. 

Respected arts leader Robert Cole has led artistic programming for the season, working in close collaboration with Jeff Langley, Artistic Director of the Green Music Center and Director of SSU's School of Performing Arts.  

The season includes:

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter and Vadim Repin; and the Modigliani Quartet with pianist Joyce Yang 

Orchestral concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with Jeffrey Kahane and New York's Innovative
International Contemporary Ensemble led by John Adams

Vocal Arts Series featuring eight outstanding artists and events including Stephanie Blythe, El?na Garanča and Barbara Cook

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Jazz Star Chucho Valdés, Flamenco sensation Buika and Latin Grammy-Award winner Lila Downs
headline the Jazz and World Music Series

Early Music Offerings Include Tallis Scholars, Masaaki Suzuki conducting Philharmonia Baroque in Handel's Messiah and Joyce DiDonato with Il Complesso Barocco conducted by Baroque specialist Alan Curtis

Audiences will have a chance to hear many orchestral concerts throughout the season including four concerts with the San Francisco Symphony and a full season of programming from the Santa Rosa Symphony. 

The San Francisco Symphony will visit Green Music Center for four concerts in the inaugural season. Michael Tilson Thomas leads the symphony in Jörg Widmann's new piano concerto with Yefim Bronfman and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique in December, and Yuja Wang joins the symphony and Tilson Thomas for Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in March. In January, Charles Dutoit leads the Orchestra with violinist James Ehnes in a program of Lalo, Ravel and Elgar's Enigma Variations. 

In May, David Robertson, the symphony and pianist Marc-André Hamelin perform Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel's Piano Concerto in D for the Left Hand. Ravel's La Valse and Elliott Carter's Variations for Orchestra complete the program.

The Santa Rosa Symphony, Resident Orchestra of Weill Hall, marks its transition to the Green Music Center in 2012-13 with a full season of expanded offerings. Led by Music Director Bruno Ferrandis, the Santa Rosa Symphony begins its residency with an orchestral opening concert on September 30, and continues the year with a seven-concert Classical Series, a new Family Concert Series, an orchestral choral performance and a Roaring-Twenties themed evening celebrating their 85th season.

Composer John Adams has created a special evening in honor of the Green Music Center's inaugural season: "An All American Celebration with John Adams, Jeffrey Kahane and ICE." The best-known living classical composer, John Adams leads New York's innovative and fiery International Contemporary Ensemble in a program featuring the composer's own work in addition to works by Stravinsky, Philip Glass and George Gershwin. John Adams welcomes beloved local resident and internationally renowned pianist Jeffrey Kahane as pianist for the original 1924 version of Gershwin's popular Rhapsody in Blue. 

On-Campus Presents, a student-centered presenting group at SSU, will showcase contemporary artists, legends of the recording industry, comedians, a speaker and lecture series, and dance events. More details will be announced as On-Campus Presents events are confirmed. 


Subscriptions go on sale to the general public March 26 following a two-week advanced ticketing window for donors to the Green Music Center annual fund, beginning March 12. Subscriptions can be purchased by series in discount packages ranging from $68 to $289. Series subscribers save 15% off single ticket prices and receive advanced ticketing priority for single ticket sales in July. 

Patrons may also select a Compose Your Own Season package of four or more events on a single order, receiving 10% off single ticket prices. Subscription orders may be placed online at or by calling 1-866-955-6040.

Single tickets go on sale in July 2012 and range from $25 to $155. SSU students receive a 50% discount on all tickets (limit one per student per event) and SSU faculty and staff receive a 20% discount (limit two per employee per event). For more information, call the Sonoma State University Box Office at 1-866-955-6040, e-mail or visit the website at

For further information, please contact 1-866-955-6040 or e-mail

A link to the 2012/13 online brochure can be found at