MasterCard and Sonoma State University Unveil Long-Term Relationship in Support of the Performing Arts

Effort to Support Priceless Cultural and Music Experiences in Northern California

PURCHASE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul. 18, 2012– MasterCard and Sonoma State University today announced details of a long-term relationship in support of the performing arts.


Under this relationship, MasterCard will become the title sponsor of the annual MasterCard Performance Series. The company will also support the building of an outdoor pavilion for music and dance at the Green Music Center, adjoining the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall.

On Tuesday evening, the Board of Trustees of the California State University approved naming rights for the outdoor venue, to be called the MasterCard Performing Arts Pavilion. This is the first corporate partnership of its kind for the campus.

“We continually look for ways to create stronger connections with consumers by understanding their passions and interests to provide them with priceless experiences and memories,” said Alfredo Gangotena, chief marketing officer, MasterCard. “We look forward to a relationship with Sonoma State University to deliver unique music-related access and experiences to the local community and the larger northern California region.”

MasterCard has several long-standing relationships in the world of entertainment.

“We are very excited about our significant, long-term partnership with MasterCard, one of the world’s best and most admired companies,” said Sandy Weill, chairman of the Green Music Center Board of Advisors. “Having the support of MasterCard further emphasizes what we at Sonoma State continue to believe – this is a transformative project that will create an innovative learning environment for students and will provide an economic boost to the area and help diversify its tourist base.”

As part of the relationship, Sonoma State University and MasterCard will work together to offer a student internship program in the field of entertainment and sponsorship management. Additionally, MasterCard will work with Sonoma State University to provide financial literacy programs or tools for the university’s students.

“Our vision is to aim high, reach wide, and educate all,” said Sonoma State University president Ruben Armiñana. “We look forward to sharing this extraordinary complex with music and art enthusiasts around the globe.”

Exclusive Pre-Sale Kicks Off Countdown to Grand Opening

Located on the picturesque Sonoma State University campus in the heart of California’s Sonoma wine region, Weill Hall officially opens Saturday, September 29 with an Opening Night concert featuring Chinese piano sensation Lang Lang.

Beginning Wednesday, July 18, MasterCard cardholders will enjoy presale access to the twenty Priceless performances that comprise the 2012-13 MasterCard Performance Series (Sept. 29, 2012 through April 27, 2013). Tickets go on-sale to the general public on Sunday, July 29.

A focal point for music in the region, the inaugural season in Weill Hall features an array of internationally acclaimed performers including vocalists Stephanie Blythe, Elīna Garanča, Joyce DiDonato and Barbara Cook; celebrated classical soloists Yo-Yo Ma, Vadim Repin, Wynton Marsalis and Anne-Sophie Mutter; acclaimed early music ensembles Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, Tallis Scholars and Il Complesso Barocco; and Latin jazz greats Chucho Valdés and Buika. The Santa Rosa Symphony, Resident Orchestra, offers a full season of programming at the Green Music Center and the San Francisco Symphony will perform four concerts.

The Green Music Center complex allows for the integration of performing arts, particularly in the fields of music and dance. The MasterCard Performing Arts Pavilion will be located on the northeast side of the complex, and will add to the versatile venue arrangement by offering an ideal location for larger outdoor performances. Currently in the planning stages, the Pavilion will provide the ability to book an expanded range of performers including more contemporary music and dance.

About Sonoma State University and the Green Music Center

Sonoma State University is located in California’s premier wine country, one hour north of San Francisco. Nestled at the base of the idyllic Sonoma Mountains, the university offers a wide range of traditional disciplines and is the home of the Green Music Center and its centerpiece venue – the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Concert Hall, which is modeled closely after Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood and designed to offer exceptional acoustics, picturesque views of surrounding countryside, and a modular rear wall that opens to terraced lawn seating. The center is also the home of the Santa Rosa Symphony, hosts concerts by the San Francisco Symphony and, beginning in June 2013, launches a new partnership with Carnegie Hall.