An internationally known musician with local roots returns to Fresno for a concert to benefit Fresno Pacific University music programs.
“The Beauty We Love,” featuring Grammy Award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen, begins at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 18, 2023. The performance, with vocalists Elizabeth Rogers and Milton Friesen, will be in the Warkentine Culture and Arts Center on the main FPU campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno. Tickets are $35 for general audiences and $20 for the FPU community and K-12 students. The event is part of FPU’s Pacific Artist Series. More information and registration at fresno.edu/beauty-we-love
Eugene and Milton Friesen are natives of Fresno and sons of Dietrich Friesen who served the college for over 35 years in the music department. Milton Friesen is a retired FPU music faculty member.
Eugene Friesen, a graduate of the Yale School of Music, has toured the world as a soloist and as a member of the Paul Winter Consort with whom he’s recorded over 20 CDs, four of which won Grammy Awards. A trailblazer on the cello, Friesen’s innovative improvisational style and original techniques—and 20 years teaching at the Berklee College of Music in Boston—have influenced generations of players.
The concert program, including sounds and ideas drawn from travels on six continents, will feature a diverse repertoire that includes Friesen’s original music, electronics, natural soundscapes, compositions by J.S. Bach and the poetry of Rumi to paint a portrait of a world united in hope.
“The Beauty We Love” will also feature pianist and baritone vocalist Milton Friesen, and soprano Elizabeth Rogers. Born and raised in Manhattan, Rogers began her professional singing career at the age of nine in the children’s choruses of the Metropolitan and New York City Opera. Her songs are stories of the large and small themes that run through a human life. Her voice—which has been compared to those of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell—has a delicacy, clarity and purity that perfectly underscores her insightful lyrics.
Milton Friesen received an undergraduate degree in vocal performance from SUNY and a graduate degree in choral conducting from Fresno State University. In addition to serving on the FPU faculty, he is a retired music educator, worship pastor and vocal soloist. Inspired with a love of sacred and classical music from his parents, as well as a love for contemporary, improvisational music from his brother, Eugene, Milton's pursuits as conductor, performer and educator have focused on music's ability to establish and foster a sense of community and appreciation for one another.