The Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces the Grand Opening and Inaugural Season of the Green Music Center.

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The Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to announce the grand opening and inaugural season for the Santa Rosa Symphony, the resident orchestra and the Green Music Center in Sonoma Wine Country.

Located on the picturesque Sonoma State University campus in the heart of California’s Sonoma wine region, the Green Music Center is a focal point for music in the region. Designed by architect William Rawn, working closely with acoustician Lawrence Kirkegaard, the 1,400 seat Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall is modeled after Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood and was designed to replicate the intimacy and acoustics of Vienna’s Musikverein and Symphony Hall in Boston. In addition to the concert hall, the Center will include two additional performance venues. The south end is designed with a back wall that can be fully opened onto a beautifully landscaped and terraced lawn, similar to Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, expanding the reach of the concert hall to an additional 3,000 guests. The Weill Commons, an area directly to the east of the main concert hall, will be transformed into an amphitheater with a 10,000 seat capacity for large-scale outdoor events.

September 29, 2012 grand opening festivities include a performance by internationally acclaimed pianist Lang Lang in Weill Hall followed by a formal opening night dinner. The Santa Rosa Symphony, Resident Orchestra of the Green Music Center, will perform a Sunday matinee concert led by Music Director Bruno Ferrandis and featuring special appearances by former music directors Conductor Emeritus Corrick Brown and Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane, in addition to a commissioned world premiere from Sonoma County critically-acclaimed contemporary composer Nolan Gasser. Sunday night Alison Krauss, winner of 27 Grammy Awards, leads her renowned band Union Station for an evening of acoustic bluegrass music.

Founded in 1928, the Santa Rosa Symphony ranks among the oldest symphony orchestras in the western states. As Resident Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony will present its 85th Anniversary Season and Inaugural Year as Resident Orchestra at Green Music Center. “It is nothing less than a transformational opportunity that seldom is afforded any American orchestra – to call a world class concert hall its home," stated Santa Rosa Symphony Executive Director Alan Silow. “Rivaling the Vienna Musikvereinssaal and Boston Symphony’s Ozawa Hall, the Weill Concert Hall will create an intimate space that becomes part of our musical ensemble itself.”

Each of the Classical concerts includes a beloved masterwork — from Mahler’s First Symphony in October to the Tenth Symphony of Shostakovich in May. October features SRS composer-in-residence Edmund Campion’s concerto The Last Internal Combustion Engine. The world premier was created especially for the orchestra and the renowned Kronos Quartet. November features pianist Jean-Philippe Collard taking on a concerto that challenged the composter Saint-Saens himself. And Berlioz’s fanatically colorful Symphonie fantastique uses the concert hall’s acoustics to maximize effect as the crowing touch to this thrilling and energetic program. In December two “titans of opera” are offered. Orchestral experts from Wagner’s Der Ring, combine with the best arias and choruses from Verdi. Guest soprano Christina Major and guest tenor Christopher Bengochea play their parts to the hilt, along with the 110-person Symphony Honor Choir. March features three-time Grammy-winning Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. His Awakening of Jacob will harmonize perfectly with Tchaikovsky’s visionary and poignant final symphony. The season finale in May features Russian star Olga Kern who demonstrates her prowess in Rachmaninoff’s enduringly popular Piano Concerto No. 2. Other highlights include the family concert series with music from Peanuts and Looney Tunes and Magic Circle Mime Company’s Peter and the Wolf. The Symphony Pops Series include A Tribute to Neil Diamond and Wicked Divas featuring the star vocalist Nicole Frances parker and Alli Mauzey from the long-running hit musical Wicked.

The Green Music Center has programmed a season offering a diverse array of the world’s most distinguished performers from classical music, opera, jazz and world music – the majority of whom make their first appearances in Sonoma County with these performances.

The vocal splendor series features eight concerts and kicks off in October with Canada’s superstar soprano Karina Gauvin. The series includes Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča who has appeared in starring roles in major opera houses, including the Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and The Metropolitan Opera. Joyce DiDonato who was selected as Gramophone’s “Artist of the Year” in 2010 performs in November. Kennedy Center Honoree Barbara Cook who was called “the greatest singer in the world” by the Financial Times appears in February. Groups performing include Tallis Scholars, the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music in the world and San Francisco’s Philharmonic Baroque Orchestra and Chorale. The series ends in April with Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught, a rising star in the international opera world.

The Concert series kicks off in October when 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. Yo-Yo Ma who has received more than 15 Grammy Awards and remains of the best-selling classical recording artist will headline in January. Also featured will be the Modigliani Quartet with Joyce Yang in October, Anne-Sophie Mutter in March, Vadim Repin in April and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

The Jazz and World Music Series features Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in March. “The dean of Latin jazz”, Chucho Valdes and the Afro-Cuban Messengers perform in November. Also in November is Buika who fuses flamenco of her native Spain with jazz, copla, soul and dance rhythms. The series concludes in April with Mexican artist Lila Downs bring her soaring voice to a dramatic and highly unique reinvention of traditional Mexican music and original compositions fused with blues, jazz, soul and African roots.

The Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau provides assistance to visitors and groups seeking information about Santa Rosa and operates an Official State of California Welcome Center. For more information, please call (800) 404-7673 or (707) 577-8674 or visit

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