Sonya Belaya

I am a pianist and a singer, bred by the Russian school, but breaking away since running away to the midwest. Despite running away, I am deeply rooted in Russian musical traditions. I learned to sing through soviet bard songs, sitting at overflowing dinner tables and familial campfires.

In my music-making, I seek community first. The human connections in my collaborations are most important to me, which has drawn me to working primarily with dancers, percussionists, and living composers in the world of “new” music.
I speak through vulnerable art. By this I mean, art based in emotional transparency. The experiences in my life that have inspired me the most come from this place. I find this vulnerability in free improvisation, writing songs, and in creating experiences for an audience that say, “I feel with you”. Unapologetically.

I am moving towards becoming a socially responsible artist; therefore, my duty as a citizen of this earth is not absolved because I am an artist.

education
'16 B.M piano performance, University of Michigan

fellowships
'16 Bang On A Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA