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Hall of Fame

Green Music Center opens among the stars

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When we remember the grand opening of the Green Music Center years from now, we'll talk about the hall. We'll talk about the pianist onstage, Lang Lang. But we'll also talk about the see-and-be-seen atmosphere, and the fact that for one night, dignitaries like Jerry Brown and Nancy Pelosi visited the otherwise quiet suburb of Rohnert Park.

"It's a marvel," said Gov. Brown of the hall, sipping a glass of wine near a stageside box seat and chatting amiably with the public during intermission. "I'm glad to be here."

Glad, too, were the other 3,400 estimated people in attendance witnessing this rare, strange piece of history. Strange because of the long, obstacle-laden ride toward opening the hall at a public university, and rare because, really, how often does the governor pop in on Sonoma State University?

But the whole point of the night was the venue's debutante ball, with Lang Lang as its chaperone. The pianist's delicate touch suited the opening perfectly: notes seemed to emerge out of thin air and then dissipate just as smoothly. During Mozart's Sonata No. 5, the hall responded to even the tiniest nuance, amplifying each dynamic choice, like droplets hitting a glassy-surfaced lake at dawn and producing pure, clean ripples in the water.

Find full coverage of the Green Music Center's opening weekend, at the Bohemian's music blog, City Sound Inertia.

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