Internationally-acclaimed Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang opens the inaugural season of The Donald and Maureen Green Music Center and the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, Lawn, and Commons on the campus of Sonoma State University on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.
Heralded as the "hottest artist on the classical music planet" by the New York Times, the 29 year-old Lang Lang has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and all the top American orchestras.
Lang Lang's performance will be held in front of 1,400 guests inside Weill Hall and broadcast to 3,000 additional guests on the Weill Lawn through the back door of the hall which will be opened for the first time for an event. It will be followed by a formal opening night dinner.
As part of the weekend festivities, the Santa Rosa Symphony, resident orchestra of the Green Music Center, performs a Sunday matinee concert led by Music Director Bruno Ferrandis. It features special appearances by former SRS music directors Corrick Brown and Jeffrey Kahane in addition to a commissioned world premiere from a Sonoma County composer.
The inaugural 2012-13 season also features The San Francisco Symphony in a multi-year multi-concert series in which the symphony orchestra performs four subscription concerts annually at the Green Music Center.
Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and guest conductors will lead the Orchestra in Weill Hall.
Full details of dates, artists, and repertoire for the entire season will be announced March 5.
Talks are also underway between SSU and New York's Carnegie Hall exploring a number of future partnership opportunities.
These include music education programs that could benefit students in area schools; special residencies with young professional musician fellows from The Academy program, combining performance and community activities; and programming in Sonoma County tied to future Carnegie Hall artistic initiatives. Details of the partnership will be announced once plans are finalized.
The much anticipated news was announced on Jan. 1 in Weill Hall by SSU President Ruben Armiñana, Sanford I. Weill, Chair of the Green Music Center Board of the Advisors, and Donald Green, Chair Emeritus of the Green Music Center Board of Advisors, at a open house for major donors and supporters from the community.
"This project has been a labor of love for Maureen and me and many in our community for more than 12 years," said Donald Green. "We feel excited and grateful to everyone as we watch the Green Music Center come to fruition in such a positive way with so many supporters."
"This is truly the moment for which we have all been waiting," said President Armiñana. "We would not be here without the community of music lovers and philanthropists who have come together around our vision of a world class performing arts venue at a public university."
"Joan and I are extremely passionate about education, music, and the arts and we are firm believers that they help bridge cultural divides that exist throughout the world," said Sandy Weill.
"Not only will the Center create an innovative learning environment for students with our exciting new partnerships, but it will provide an economic boost to the area and help diversify its tourist base."
For further details, visit http://gmc.sonoma.edu/connect/media.
For ticket information, call (707) 664-2750.
Lang Lang Photo Courtesy of Columbia Records.
Michael Tilson Thomas directs the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.