Sonoma State University President Ruben Armiñana today announced the appointment of Emmanuel Morlet as Artistic Director of the Green Music Center (GMC). Morlet, a native of France, is currently Director of the Music Office for the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and a Program Officer of the French-American Cultural Exchange (FACE) Foundation in New York. He begins his new position on April 1, at which time he assumes responsibility for all artistic programming at the complex.
"During my visits to Sonoma State, I was extraordinarily impressed with the University's deep commitment to making the arts a vibrant part of college education," said Morlet. "Weill Hall is one of the most beautiful concert halls I've ever seen and is truly an amazing resource not only to the campus, but the local community as well. To join a new performing arts center at this inaugural moment is a real honor and I look forward to working together to bring Sonoma County the very best that the performing arts have to offer."
As artistic director at the GMC, Morlet will be responsible for setting the Center's artistic vision and programming, working closely alongside newly appointed Executive Director Larry Furukawa-Schlereth. He will also be actively engaged with GMC leadership and its donor community, and will oversee collaborations between the University and the Center.
Since 1998, Morlet has served at the French Embassy overseeing multiple offices nationwide, supervising all music-related activities, working directly with artists and ensembles, and fundraising to support these efforts. An accomplished musician, Morlet was responsible for programming across a number of genres including classical, jazz, popular, world, and electronic.
Among the many projects he coordinated in conjunction with universities, festivals, and international venues, Morlet led all aspects of "Sounds French," a month-long festival of contemporary music, and is co-founder of the acclaimed annual "GlobalFest" world music festival.
A citizen of both France and the United States, Morlet studied at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand, where he majored in French literature while also studying communications, music, and arts administration.
"I am very pleased that Emmanuel is joining us as artistic director," said President Armiñana. "His international experience working with world-class performers and emerging artists is just the right mix for the excellence of the Green Music Center and Weill Hall. His work has been of the highest caliber and we are pleased to provide him a new canvas on which he can further the arts in the North Bay and beyond."
"Emmanuel is the ideal person to serve as our artistic director. His unique background of bringing different cultures together through music and the arts bodes for an exciting future as we continue to attract the world's best artists to our widely acclaimed venue. He and his family will be a terrific addition to the Sonoma County community and we look forward to welcoming them and working together," said Sandy Weill, Chairman of the GMC Board of Advisors.
"I want to thank our campus committee of faculty, staff, and student representation, as well as the GMC Board of Advisors who conducted an extended search for the artistic director position, said Executive Director Larry Furukawa-Schlereth.
Furukawa-Schlereth will carry on in his role as executive leader of the GMC, working alongside the Board of Advisors and overseeing the staff and operations of the year-round performance center.
Executive Director Larry Furukawa-Schlereth (right) with new Artistic Director Emmanuel Morlet
PHOTOS BY CHRIS LEE