When the performance series at Sonoma State University's Weill Hall opens next Sunday, the gala celebration will extend through the month with a brilliant cluster of top-tier artists.
“We're calling it the Stars of September,” said Jessica Anderson, marketing manager at the Green Music Center. “(Programming consultant) Robert Cole's goal was not to have one big show, but to have several weeks of really big artists.”
Celebrated soprano Renee Fleming opens the season on a high note on Sept. 15, followed by rock star pianist Lang Lang on Sept. 17, revered violinist Itzhak Perlman on Sept. 21, legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock on Sept. 28 and beloved soprano Ruth Ann Swenson on Sept. 29.
Three of the five concerts will offer lawn seating, making it a little easier to get in at the last minute. The Lang Lang and Swenson performances will be held indoors only.
“For the inside of the hall, we know that we're going to sell out those first concerts of September,” Anderson said. “Outside of the hall, we can't say for certain, but I would imagine you could still get tickets the day of the show.”
During “A Night at the Opera” on Sept. 15, Fleming will present a recital of songs and arias, ranging from Handel to Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Dinner by Palmer
Following the 3 p.m. concert, a plated dinner designed by Dry Creek Kitchen chef Charlie Palmer and his chef de cuisine, Dustin Valette, will be served in a tent outside the hall by Elaine Bell Catering.
Lang Lang, dubbed by the New Yorker magazine as “the world's ambassador of the keyboard,” will return to the hall with an all-Chopin recital.
The 31-year-old Chinese superstar's latest CD, “The Chopin Album,” is his first album devoted to the composer's solo piano masterpieces.
The deluxe edition of the CD comes with a bonus DVD, “My Life with Chopin,” which includes home videos captured by Lang Lang's parents of key “Chopin moments” in the young pianist's life.