Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Spotlight on strings

This year’s edition of the Fresno Opera & Orchestra Summer Academy, or FOOSA, which is heading into its final weekend, skips the opera and focuses on strings. Nearly 70 students — some from as far as Hong Kong — are participating in this program from the Youth Orchestras of Fresno, along with a lineup of esteemed faculty members. The result: Classical music fans in Fresno get a chance to hear some fine concerts this weekend, including a faculty chamber music recital 8 p.m. Friday that should be top-notch. There is a final student concert 8 p.m. Saturday, and the grand finale comes 4 p.m. Sunday (note corrected time; initial info in academy press release was wrong) featuring students and faculty playing together. (It’s amazing how pairing up professionals with talented young musicians produces an impressive sound, faculty members say.)

We had fun featuring the talented young musicians in the academy as the cover story in Friday’s 7 section. Bee graphic artist John Alvin came up with the spiffy center spread:

foosa center

Don’t miss this video I made about the academy:

Tonight’s faculty concert at the Fresno State Concert Hall will feature Limor Toren-Immerman and Lorenz Gamma on violin; Meidad Yehudayan on viola; Thomas Loewenheim, Thomas Landschoot and SiWon Park on cello; Bruce Bransby on double bass; and Hatem Nadim on piano.

Sunday’s final concert will honor Vida Samiian, dean of Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities. Academy organizers say that Samiian’s “support of this program, which started in summer 2013, has been unwavering. Please join us in thanking her for all she has done for the arts in the Central Valley.”

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