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The Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings and The Studio at Sage Hill Present IMAGINE THAT!, 4/27

The Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings and The Studio at Sage Hill Present IMAGINE THAT!, 4/27

In a partnership that celebrates human imagination and creativity, Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings (PSSS) is joined by The Studio at Sage Hill to present "Imagine That!," a concert and art exhibit that showcase the relationship between the two art forms. For their season finale, PSSS highlights a display of student artwork inspired by Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" in a pre-concert lobby exhibition and onscreen in a slideshow synced to the performance. Led by Music Director Irene Kroesen, PSSS also performs Mascagni's Intermezzo from "Cavalleria Rusticana," "Charterhouse Suite" by Vaughan Williams and Saint-Saëns' "Danse Bacchanale" from "Samson and Delilah." The concert takes place Saturday, April 27, at 3 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Admission is free. The artwork, created by Sage Hill high school students and 6th -9th graders from across the county, is also being featured in an art show at The Studio at Sage Hill on March 27, where a chamber ensemble from PSSS performs.

"The intent was to unite both performing and visual artists in a specific project to promote arts awareness in the community," says Kroesen. "Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' was inspired by the artwork of Viktor Hartmann and depicts an imaginary tour of an art collection. Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings reversed the concept. We asked young artists in the community and Sage Hill School to be inspired by Mussorgsky's music to create visual art pieces."

Mussorgsky's piece, written in honor of his late friend and painter Hartmann after attending an exhibition of his drawings and watercolors, is his most famous work-and for this concert, PSSS performs a string arrangement by Carrie Lane Gruselle. To celebrate this magnificent music, students all over Orange County listened to Mussorgsky's musical masterpiece and were invited to create artwork based on one movement or several.

"Both art and music have over centuries influenced not only social but also political change," continues Kroesen. "Through the artistry of composers and artists, music and art have pushed the limits of its acceptance into everyday life, not just for the elite but also for the common man."

The young string musicians open their concert with the uniquely English music of Vaughan Williams in his "Charterhouse Suite," bright and clear, with unexpected harmonic twists. Then, the sublime beauty of Mascagni's Intermezzo from "Cavalleria Rusticana" allows them to shine and is memorable for its use in well-known films such as "The Godfather, Part III." The finale stirs with passion, drama and exoticism, as PSSS concludes their season with an exuberant rendition of Saint-Saëns' "Danse Bacchanale," from his opera "Samson and Delilah."

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