A Brief History of The Soraya
The late director/actor Garry Marshall served as the evening’s master of ceremonies, joined by CSUN President Jolene Koester, San Fernando Valley dignitaries, civic activist David Fleming, and Los Angeles City Council members Wendy Greuel and Tony Cardenas.
Great Recession Impacts Construction
As a result of the economic crisis of 2008, construction resumes after a 62-day halt.
Nov 1 2010
To test the hall's acoustic, The Soraya (Formally Valley Performing Arts Center) held two concerts; the first concert featured Doc Severinsen & the El Ritmo de la Vida Jazz Ensemble and the second featured Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pavel Kogan.
Encompassing 166,000 square feet and the construction cost of $125 million, The Soraya officially opened its doors with a star-studded gala.
World-Renowned Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Headlines Gala
Executive Director Thor Steingraber welcomed cellist Yo-Yo Ma to The Soraya for a gala benefiting the venue. In attendance were CSUN and community leaders, as well as musical legends Smokey Robinson and Stewart Copeland.
Under the Valley Sky
The Soraya held its first outdoor community event with Bickram Ghosh's Drums of India.
A Transformative Gift
The center is renamed the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts in recognition of a transformative gift from the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of Younes and Soraya Sarah Nazarian and their family.
Los Angeles Premiere of Cruzar La Cara De La Luna
An original mariachi opera produced by The Soraya featured Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and a Los Angeles cast in a moving story of a family divided by a border. During Opening Night, The Soraya hosted 58 special guests: CSUN DREAM Center students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program and labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, which was widely covered by most local news outlets including local nightly news programs.
Final In-Person Concert Before COVID-19 Closures
The Soraya hosted Joshua Bell and Academy of St Martin in the Fields for a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Mr. Bell conducted and performed on the violin to a packed house and uproarious ovation, but no one knew that would be the final performance in the Great Hall prior to shutting down for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Soraya at 10
The Soraya celebrates 10 years with a virtual gala performance that included jazz great Wynton Marsalis.