Brian  Thorsett

Brian Thorsett

Assistant Professor - Voice

As a concert singer, Brian Thorsett fosters a stylistically diversified repertoire of over 250 works, which has taken him to concert halls across the US and Europe. 

He is a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Glimmerglass Opera’s Young American Artist program, American Bach Soloists' Academy, and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme at Aldeburgh, England. He also spent two summers at the Music Academy of the West.

He previously served on faculty at Santa Clara University and University of California at Berkeley.

Contact Me

(540) 231-7047
242-E Squires (0138)
290 College Avenue
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Areas of Expertise

  • Voice
  • Research/ Production: Opera Workshop

Education & Training

  • A.D., San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • M.M., San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • B.A., Santa Clara University

Name a play, film, or recording that has influenced you and that you would recommend to others. Share why you made this selection.

One of the first recordings I listened to obsessively was Fritz Wunderlich singing The Magic Flute. It was my first opera (after only 8 lessons... I was dreadful and would be happy to regale you with charming stories of my debut). The sublime perfection of his voice and delivery of text were a beacon as I stumbled blindly through this difficult role. I would heartily recommend anything Wunderlich sings; he creates the most unique soundworld of any singer.

 When do you first remember making the decision to go into the arts?  What were the circumstances?

With degrees in math and piano, I originally wanted to be a statistican or an actuary, with music as a hobby. After graduating I went directly into the workforce in component distribution (which is as exciting as it sounds). I felt such a void, with so little music in my life, that I was then compelled to go back to school and become a singer. All the good in my life has sprung from that choice.

What is the most important quality for any student in the performing arts to cultivate?

Intellectual curiousity is my favorite quality in a student or colleague. With this attribute, one is constantly evolving and refreshing one's career path. It is an important facet for anyone taking on a life in music; the broader an artist's knowledge, the more opportunities will present themselves. 

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