Some of the world’s most promising young musicians will gather at Fresno State this summer for the Fresno Opera and Orchestra Summer Academy (FOOSA) Festival/Fresno Summer Orchestra Academy, June 12 to 16.
The festival, now in its fourth year, will feature a performance of Mahler’s monumental “Symphony No. 2” at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles on Friday, June 24. The symphony, also known as “The Resurrection,” runs 90 minutes and will involve the FOOSA Philharmonic, the Classic Performances Chorus and soloists Laura Pedersen (soprano) and Kaylene Clark (mezzo-soprano). The performances will be conducted by Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, festival artistic director and Fresno State music professor.
FOOSA offers young musicians from around the globe the opportunity to work side-by-side with professionals to receive real-world music experience. Created by Loewenheim, FOOSA is a partnership between Youth Orchestras of Fresno and Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities.
“The tour to Los Angeles to perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall is central to the project,” said Julia Copeland, executive director of Youth Orchestras of Fresno. “This performance has the double effect of exposing our participating musicians to the wonders of playing in a space designed specifically for the performance of classical music — and one of the greatest concert halls in the world — and exposing a much wider audience to the vitality and talent to be found in the Central Valley.”
Musicians nationwide, as well as a number of international students, auditioned to be part of the intensive 100-student program, where they work with professionals to hone their musical talent and enhance performance skills.
The FOOSA faculty this year will include teaching and performing artists representing the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Fresno Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Puerto Rico Symphony, and a host of other orchestras. In addition to Fresno State, institutions such as the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, Michigan State University, Arizona State University, Ball State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Los Angeles will be represented.
FOOSA faculty members will perform a free, public concert of chamber music at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at the Fresno State Concert Hall. Additional student showcases will be at 8 p.m. June 16 and 17 and June 20 and 22, at the Fresno State Concert Hall.
The two-week festival culminates with a free, public concert that will feature the FOOSA Philharmonic, the winner of the FOOSA concerto competition and younger musicians from the FOOSA Half-Day Program at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at the Fresno State Concert Hall. Due to limited seating for this free event, reserved tickets are available for $15 at foosa16.bpt.me.