ARThound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

Happy Fourth of July! Weill Hall gets dressed with red white and blue…

It might look like the Parthenon but it's Green Music Center's Weill Hall celebrating the 4th.  The music begins at  7:30 featuring santa Rosa Symphony and the fireworks start at 9:15 p.m.   Image: Geneva Anderson

It might look like the Parthenon but it’s Green Music Center’s Weill Hall celebrating the 4th. The music begins at 7:30 featuring Santa Rosa Symphony performing American classics. Dazzling fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. Image: Geneva Anderson

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July 4, 2013 Posted by | Art, Classical Music, Green Music Center | , , , | Leave a comment

Green Music Center’s Summer Season is around the corner—tickets are now on sale to the general public today

El Gusto Orchestra, a group of Jewish and Muslim artists separated by war in Algeria more than 50 years ago, will perform at Weill Hall on Sunday, August 11, 2103. Dubbed the “Buena Vista Social Club of Algiers,” their chaâbi music, the jazz of the orient, was once considered fairly scandalous as it was played mainly in the cannabis dens of the Casbah in Algiers.  Safinez Bousbia’s acclaimed documentary “El Gusto” (2012), which tells the musicians’ fascinating individual stories, will also screen.

El Gusto Orchestra, a group of Jewish and Muslim artists separated by war in Algeria more than 50 years ago, will perform at Weill Hall on Sunday, August 11, 2103. Dubbed the “Buena Vista Social Club of Algiers,” their chaâbi music, the jazz of the orient, was once considered fairly scandalous as it was played mainly in the cannabis dens of the Casbah in Algiers. Safinez Bousbia’s acclaimed documentary “El Gusto” (2012), which tells the musicians’ fascinating individual stories, will also screen.

Josh Groban, YoYo Ma and Goat Rodeo Sessions, Chris Botti, the Russian National Orchestra, El Gusto,  and a traditional 4th of July celebration are among the highlights of the Green Music Center’s inaugural summer season which was announced on April 23, 2013.   After offering first dibs on summer tickets to its high-level donors, followed by Mastercard holders, tickets are now on sale to the general public.  The stellar season features a nine-concert array of classical, orchestral, bluegrass and world music artists and represents an expansive and creative approach to musical entertainment offering some coveted big name draws and a sampling of some rare offerings of world music incuding El Gusto (the Good Mood), a reunited group of musicians from the Casbah of old Algiers that has been hailed as the Buena Vista Social Club of Algeria.  And like the Buena Vista Social Club, there’s a new documentary film by Safinez Bousbia that will screen in advance of their GMC performance that has largely been responsible for their re-launch.

The al fresco season takes full advantage of the wonderful Wine Country weather and lush accommodations of Weill Lawn, utilizing the expanded seating of the Green Music Center’s outdoor spaces for up to 6,000 patrons.  Many of those seats and outdoor tables allow for outdoor gourmet dining from Prelude, GMC’s culinary jewel.

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION: It all begins on July 4 with the revival of a community tradition – a family-friendly Independence Day orchestral concert amidst an afternoon of festivities, culminating in a dazzling fireworks display across the Sonoma County skies.

 THE MASTERCARD PERFORMANCE SERIES: HEADLINE CONCERTS

Josh Groban’s success as a singer and songwriter has extended beyond the classical genre and into the mainstream, following his rise to fame in the early 2000s with such Grammy-nominated singles as “You Raise Me Up.”   Dubbed the “love me tenor” by adoring female fans, he performs with the Santa Rosa Symphony led by conductor Sean O’Loughlin, on July 24 for the most intimate concert of his summer tour – and his only date in Northern California – produced by Rick Bartalini Presents.

Yo-Yo Ma liked Weill Hall so much in January that he’s coming back, with the renowned The Goat Rodeo Sessions, sharing the stage with bluegrass fiddler Stuart Duncan, bassist Edgar Meyer, and mandolin master Chris Thile.  Special guest vocalist Aoife O’Donovan joins this innovative ensemble that blends bluegrass influences with classical traditions on August 23.   What’s a “goat rodeo,” you might wonder?   The term is from the world of aviation where so many things go wrong that a right move needs to made for it all not to end in disaster.  The group feels kinship with that concept and the name has suits highly their improvisational spproach to music and life.

Members of the Goat Rodeo Sessions performing “Attaboy,” from the Goat Rodeo Sessions Live.

Retro-pop orchestra Pink Martini delivers its genre-crossing blend of jazz, classical, cabaret and world music on July 14, for a performance the New York Times calls “a polyrhythmic, one-world cocktail,” and lead singer China Forbes describes as “uplifting, romantic, multi-lingual and melodic – and of course it makes you want to dance.”

American jazz-trumpeter Chris Botti has had widespread success in the pop-instrumental genre, releasing twelve solo albums and collaborating with Andrea Bocelli, Paul Simon, Sting, and many of the world’s leading orchestras. His August 25 concert concludes the MasterCard Performance Series Summer 2013 programming.

ORCHESTRAL OFFERINGS

The Green Music Center partners with Napa Valley Festival del Sole for a July 16 concert by the Grammy award-winning Russian National Orchestra, conducted by Carlo Montanaro and featuring Sarah Chang in Barber’s Violin Concerto and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in the rarely-performed Saint-Saëns “Egyptian” Piano Concerto No. 5.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet on Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5 – The Egyptian 

The suspense, the drama, the horror, the sorrow, and the excitement— the movies we love feature memorable scores.  The San Francisco Symphony performs an evening of “Music from the Movies” on August 4 with guest conductor Sarah Hicks and a very special narrator, as tunes from the silver screen come to life in a program that parents will appreciate, and kids of all ages are sure to enjoy.

ACCLAIMED FILM PROJECT WITH ALGERIAN ORCHESTRA EL GUSTO

 In 2003, film director Safinez Bousbia stumbled upon the inspirational story of El Gusto, a group of Jewish and Muslim artists separated by war in Algeria more than 50 years ago but brought together by a shared passion for Chaâbi – a musical blend of Berber, Andalusian, and Flamenco-influenced sounds meaning “of the people.”

This moving ensemble has been called “The Buena Vista Social Club of Algiers” by Le Journal du Dimanche, and performs exclusively on the West Coast in Weill Hall, following performances at Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center.

Bousbia’s documentary, “El Gusto,” chronicles these musicians enduring friendships and the transcendent power of music.  A special screening of the film precedes their August 11 concert.  (Stay tuned to ARThound for special coverage.)

Josh Groban has sold more than 25 million records…his music famously puts women in the mood.  He performs at Green Music Center on July 24 with the Santa Rosa Symphony, his only performance in Northern CA this summer.

Josh Groban has sold more than 25 million records…his music famously puts women in the mood. Claim to fame: 2003 single “You Raise Me Up.” He performs at Green Music Center on July 24 with the Santa Rosa Symphony, his only performance in Northern CA this summer.

MUSIC FESTIVAL TIES WEILL HALL TO THE JUILLIARD SCHOOL

Following a week of workshops with faculty from The Juilliard School, participants of the innovative pianoSonoma workshop and music festival will culminate their experiences with a concert in Weill Hall on August 10. This educational program pairs pianists throughout the region with Juilliard faculty for private lessons, guided rehearsals, daily master-classes, and a final public performance.

This capstone concert concludes a robust lineup of music education classes, workshops, master classes, and amateur performances taking place throughout the Green Music Center from mid-June to August.

GMC SUMMER 2013 At A Glance

A Fourth of July Celebration: Thursday, July 4 at 730 pm
Fireworks to follow

Pink Martini: Sunday, July 14 at 4 pm

Russian National Orchestra
with Carlo Montanaro, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano, and
Sarah Chang, violin :Tuesday, July 16 at 7:30 pm

Josh Groban
and the Santa Rosa Symphony
with Sean O’Loughlin, conductor: 
Wednesday, July 24 at 7:30 pm

San Francisco Symphony “Music from the Movies”
with guest conductor Sarah Hicks:
Sunday, August 4 at 4 pm

pianoSonoma: Saturday, August 10 at 7 pm

El Gusto
Documentary film screening and concert: Sunday, August 11 at 4 pm

Goat Rodeo
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile with guest vocalist Aoife O’Donovan
Friday, August 23 at 7 pm

Chris Botti: Sunday, August 25 at 4 pm

TICKETS AND BOX OFFICE INFORMATION: General public sales begin Tuesday, May 14 at 10 a.m. There are no subscription sales for the summer season.

Single-ticket prices range from $5 to $225. Discounts are available for youth (ages 12 and under receive 50% off lawn seating only), SSU students (50% discount, limit one per student per event), SSU faculty and staff (20% discount, limit two per employee per event), and for SSU alumni (10% discount, valid Alumni Association card required). Discounts do not apply to reduced-price events including pianoSonoma and El Gusto.

Ticket purchases can be made online at www.gmc.edu, or over the phone with the Sonoma State University Box Office at 866.955.6040. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Box Office is located in the interior of the Sonoma State University campus – ticket windows adjacent to the Green Music Center are only open prior to performances.

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Chamber Music, Classical Music, Film, Jazz Music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Green Music Center opens next Saturday with Lang Lang’s inaugural concert in the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Concert Hall—he’ll be playing the Center’s Steinway … AND you can still buy tickets for outdoor seating

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7 days and counting!  We’re all looking forward to Chinese celeb pianist Lang Lang’s concert Saturday evening at the Joan and Sanford I Weill Hall, officially opening the Green Music Center.  Lang Lang will play a Steinway piano owned by the center that he knows well.  The gregarious 29 year old prodigy, deemed “the hottest artist on the classical musical planet” by the New York Times, visited the hall at the invitation of Joan and Sanford Weill in January, prior to their $12 million donation in March.  Lang Lang was asked to test the hall’s acoustics by playing the center’s 9 foot concert series Steinway grand piano.  He recognized it.

The Green Music Center acquired the gorgeous ebony piano in 2009 when it was gifted by an anonymous Sonoma County donor.  Every Steinway grand piano is a numbered work of art with more than 12,000 individual parts and over 125 patented features. The GMC’s piano, #552, had previously been in Seattle and it came to the Green Music Center slightly used but in mint condition.  When Lang Lang checked its number, he confirmed that he’d played it before.  After playing the piano for nearly an hour, he gave both it and the hall’s acoustics a stellar thumbs up according to Kamen Nikolov, associate director of production operations at the Green Music Center.  Nikolov spoke to me during a tour of the 1,400 seat Weill Hall on July 10, 2012.   The Weill’s, who are great fans and friends of Lang Lang, wanted him to play the inaugural concert and wouldn’t take no for an answer.   In the video clips below, Nikolov talks about the Steinway and Lang Lang and he plays a Bach piece demonstrating the Steinway’s magnificient sound and Weill Hall’s stellar acoustics.

If you’ve never heard Lang Lang play before, you’re in for an utterly dazzling display of ebony and ivory, and bursts of color, outrageous color.  If you’re familiar with his talent, it’s rumored that he’s getting even better: the master classes he been taking of late have matured him and led him into a more authentic emotionality.   There’s only one Lang Lang and only one magical celebration of this opening of this lovely hall…so don’t miss out.

Stay tuned to ARThound for several articles this coming week exploring the Green Music Center and Weill Hall, including an interview with Nolan Gasser, the acclaimed Petaluma composer whose Sonoma Overture was especially commissioned by Santa Rosa Symphony for its inaugural concert in Weill Hall on Sunday.

Thrilling!  Weill Hall Acoustics: Kamen Nikolov plays Bach Prelude in C Major

Lang Lang’s Program for Saturday’s Inaugural concert:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

Piano Sonata No. 5 in G major, KV 283

Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, KV 282

Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, KV 310

–Intermission—

Frédéric Chopin:

Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op 23 in G minor

Chopin Ballade No. 2 Op 38 in F Major

Chopin Ballade No. 3 Op 47 in A flat

Chopin Ballade No. 4 Op 52 in F minor

Read ARThound’s review of Lang Lang’s performance at Davies Symphony Hall, January 18, 2011 here.

Lang Lang teaches Mozart: click here for Ben Chan’s April 11, 2012 Piano Sage blog post showing video of Lang Lang teaching a piano master class in Mozart, explaining the nuances of Mozart.

Lang Lang takes a master class on Beethoven:  

Outdoor Seating for Lang Lang’s concert Saturday is Still Available:  As of Friday at 4:30 p.m., the tickets sales office reported that there was still ample outdoor lawn seating at $25 per person (767 seats had sold with a total capacity of 2,700) and outdoor table seating at $55 per person (668 had sold with a total capacity of 1648)

To purchase tickets online, click here.

If you encounter difficulty with online purchases, tickets can purchased by phoning the Box Office at (866) 955-6040 open Monday–Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or In Person at the Green Music Center Box Office (same hours as above).

Don’t Miss Out on the rest of the Opening Weekend!

Sunrise Choral Concert, Sunday, September 30, 2012, 7a.m.:  Watch the sunrise through the windows of Weill Hall while marveling in the vocal splendor of local choral ensembles and soloists. This free choral concert, which will run about 40 minutes, features original compositions by Jeff Langley and Amanda McTigue, performed by members of the community including the Sonoma State University Chorus and Chamber Singers, Santa Rosa Children’s Chorus, Maria Carrillo High School Chamber Singers, Cantiamo Sonoma and The Sunrise Chamber Players.  Vocal soloists include Carol Menke, Jenni Samuelson, Christopher Fritzshe, Kevin Baum, and Thomas Hart.   There will be a reception in the lobby afterward.  Completely Sold Out!

Santa Rosa Symphony’s Orchestral Opening Concert, Sunday 2 p.m.:  The Santa Rosa Symphony will proudly step over the threshold of its new performance home as Resident Orchestra at the Green Music Center on Sunday, September 30, celebrating 85 years of music making and recognizing three individuals who helped usher in this new era: Conductor Emeritus Corrick Brown, Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane and current Music Director Bruno Ferrandis.

Maestro Brown will conduct Beethoven’s overture, Consecration of the House as an appropriate beginning to the 2 p.m. concert and Maestro Ferrandis takes the podium for the remainder of the program—Ravel’s Bolero, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, performed by Kahane, and Copland’s great Canticle of Freedom, featuring the 100-voice Symphony Honor Choir.

World Premiere Composition by Nolan Gasser:  The Symphony has commissioned an orchestral work by Petaluma resident and critically-acclaimed contemporary composer Nolan Gasser. His Sonoma Overture evokes the natural beauty of Sonoma County, and recognizes the energy and dynamism of its cities, industries and people.  The piece will introduce the second half of the concert.

Seating Indoors is Sold Out;
Lawn and Table Seating is Still Available:
Outdoor Table Seating on the Weill Terraces (many have a good view inside the hall) is $25 per person.  Outdoor lawn seating is complementary but you should reserve your tickets in advance.  Tickets for outdoor seating will be available at the door, subject to availability.   The outdoor lawn seats do NOT have a stage view but large outdoor viewing screens will be installed and a sound system should deliver very high quality sound.  If you go for the outdoor option, remember to dress for the chill and bring blankets or something to sit on.  Low chairs are allowed.

For tickets, purchase (or reserve) online at  http://www.santarosasymphony.com  OR by phone (707) 546-8742 OR in person at the Symphony Patron Services Office, 50 Santa Rosa Avenue (first floor, off elevator lobby), from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Selling out the HOUSE!!!!   Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas: Sunday, September 30, 2012, 7:30 p.m.:   The capstone of the Grand Opening weekend celebration is the band The New York Times hails as “the most popular and accessible bluegrass act in the country.”  Alison Krauss’ remarkable career goes back more than a quarter century. In 2000, she gained legions of new fans with her performance on the soundtrack of the Coen brother’s hit film, O’ Brother, Where Art Thou. She has won 27 Grammys, the most of any female artist in history, and has collaborated with Robert Plant, James Taylor, Phish, Dolly Parton, Yo-Yo Ma, and Bonnie Raitt.

Seating Indoors is Sold Out;
Lawn Seating is Still Available:
As of Friday, 4:30 p.m., there were 32 tickets, $25 each, left for Outdoor lawn seating.  To purchase tickets online, click here.  If you encounter difficulty with online purchases, tickets can purchased by phoning the Box Office at (866) 955-6040 open Monday–Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or In Person at the Green Music Center Box Office (same hours as above).

September 23, 2012 Posted by | Classical Music, Green Music Center | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment