Dr. Anton Belov returns to Fresno State for 5th Art Song Festival

Dr. Anton Belov sings in front of a grand piano.

Dr. Anton Belov, a distinguished concert artist, superb recitalist and opera singer, will perform in a public recital at the fifth Fresno State Art Song Festival at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Fresno State Concert Hall. A renowned Russian dramatic baritone, Dr. Belov has been praised by the New York Times as “a baritone with a rich mellifluous voice.”

 “We are so excited to be back in person this year and to have two days to spend with our poets, composers, singers and faculty from across the Valley and our nation!” said Dr. Maria Briggs, associate professor of voice at Fresno State and festival director.  “It takes four artists to bring an art song to life: a poet, a composer, a singer and a pianist.”

An Art Song is a musical rendition of a poem performed by a pianist and a singer. The music is usually composed in the classical tradition. Every February, the cross-cultural event features performances and masterclass by a guest artist, a composition competition, lectures, discussions and a student competition and showcase.

Poetry finalists and Fresno State students Brian Rojas and William Freeney will present their poems at the Poetry and Composition finals on Friday. The audience will then hear five versions of the winning poem set to music by composition finalists Xavier Bueno, Jack Landseadel, Dalton Morris and Marcus Overacker from Fresno State and Tammy Gordin from Cal State Bakersfield.

Fresno State soloists Gena Chambers, Zoey Turney, Laura Castro, Aunika Bull and Miranda Barton will premier these original songs at the Composition and Poetry Finals at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb 25, at Rehearsal Room 127. The winners will be announced following the performances. Audience will also have a chance to vote for their favorite composition.

Selected singers will compete in the Vocal Showcase Finals on Saturday, Feb. 26. Prizes will be announced at 7:30 p.m., immediately after Belov’s recital.

Other festival highlights include:

  • Vocal masterclasses
  • Lecture: Welsh diction and repertoire, 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, Music 127.
  • Performance Anxiety Workshop, 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, Music 127.
  • Poetry and Composition finals, 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, Music 127.
  • Dr. Anton Belov recital and Q&A, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb 26, Concert Hall.

Collaborative Pianist Dr. Drew Quiring will provide accompaniment throughout the festival.

Dr. Maria Briggs, an associate professor of voice and voice area coordinator, created the Art Song Festival at Fresno State. As a soprano, she is a multiple prize-winner of Australian national and international opera competitions and a frequent soloist with local community groups.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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