An Opera Singer in Silicon Valley
Tech and a New Concert Hall
On the invitation of my wonderful friend Zarin Mehta I had the great fortune to visit the Green Music Center at Sanoma State University. Since retiring as President of the New York Philharmonic Zarin could not stop working completely. The Green Music Center asked him to become the Co-Executive Director of the Green Music Center.
The Green Music Center is yet another example of a big passion for classical music and the arts in the tech focused Silicon Valley. A much bigger passion than I thought I would find here.
Donald and Maureen Green founded the beautiful and acoustically astonishing Music Center north of San Francisco. Both immigrated from the UK. Donald Green was in telecoms. He founded two companies. But much more important, both were passionate singers. They founded several choirs wherever they lived.
In 1992 Donald Green launched Advanced Fibre Communications. He promised to build a concert hall for his choir if he could do a successful IPO with his company. That happened in 1996 and Donald Green stood to his word. His passion for music and the believe in a new concert hall easily convinced many others to contribute to this great project.
The main hall, the Weill Hall, reminds one of the Ozawa Hall in Tanglewood but also of the Musikverein in Austria. It has a classic shoe box design. The acoustics in Audra McDonald’s concert were superb – when she sang acoustically enhanced as well as when she left all the mics etc. aside. Similar to Tanglewood the hall can open in the back to the gardens allowing even more people to enjoy music on a warm summer night.
Just recently the Schroeder Hall was added to the Green Music Center. I will not reveal the history of the name of this Hall here but invite my readers to have an educated guess.
Bernhard is the founder of HELLO STAGE. He is probably the first opera singer pitching an Internet start-up in Silicon Valley. Before founding HELLO STAGE in Fall 2013, Bernhard was the CEO and Artistic Director of the Wiener Konzerthaus. He held several C-Level positions in European technology companies with EUR 100+ million turnover. See www.bernhardkerres.com.
Bernhard is currently working for HELLO STAGE in the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley, a leading accelerator for start-ups. He writes about his experience in the innovation hot bed on this blog.