Musical Artist George Bellas
George Bellas is a Composer and Recording Artist. He is proficient on guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals, and he composes for all instruments in classical, contemporary, and futuristic styles. He has written, recorded and performed on over twenty-five albums released worldwide.
George is most notably known as a virtuoso guitarist who composes very unique modern and futuristic songs. His compositions are characterized by ultra-modern and progressive overtones, neo-classicism, neo-romanticism, and contemporary vocal arrangements. George exhibits profound compositional and technical prowess and possesses a beautiful sense of melody, harmony, rhythm and finesse. He is equally adept at improvising fluently within a myriad of diverse harmonic schemes, or composing sophisticated counterpoint in a strict 16th or 18th century style, and all done in a completely effortless manner.
Bellas is a prolific composer with an intense passion for creative writing. All of George's compositions are written directly from his imagination, or in combination with a keyboard, and notated on staff paper. His compositions incorporate a diverse amount of musical elements, which include; odd meters, poly-rhythms, ultra-modern harmony, classical harmony and counterpoint, jazz harmony, dense orchestrations, lyrical melodies, improvised solos, and outlandish song forms.
In The Beginning
George Bellas started playing guitar at the age of 7 on a classical guitar his father had bought him. On the way home from getting the guitar, in the back seat of the car, George started to play. When he got home, he ran all around the neighborhood playing his new guitar. The next day at school George checked out every single music book in the school library, went home, and began his quest to obtain an absolute understanding of music theory. A very early source of musical knowledge and inspiration for George was Walter Piston's 'Harmony' and 'Counterpoint' books along with Ted Greene's Single Note Jazz Guitar books. As a child, George began practicing extensively right away, to the point of which his fingers would bleed. Determined and highly motivated, he would put band-aids on his bleeding fingers and continue practicing.
George began performing live very early on and gigged extensively with his bands: Union Jack, Destiny, FreeFall and Prodigy, all the while advancing his education by constantly studying Music Theory, Harmony, Rhythm, Counterpoint, Form and Composition. George began teaching guitar in his early teens and shortly thereafter opened a teaching academy called "Prodigy's School Of Music". During this time he continued to perform live with his bands and compose a seemingly endless amount of music. George had an attraction towards Classical counterpoint and odd rhythms very early on which are now a unique signature of his style.
Throughout his teens and early 20's George exercised an extreme amount of discipline and practiced obsessively on a Fender acoustic guitar with .013 - .058 gauge strings. It was during this time that anybody who met George saw his black and green fingertips of hardened nail-like strength. One year, while on the way to the NAMM show, Photographer Ross Pelton could not believe George's fingertips; he exclaimed they were unlike anything he had ever seen before. George was a machine and completely unstoppable with his extreme sense of discipline.
The main equipment George uses includes: Studiologic, Roland and Alesis keyboards; Gibson Flying V's and Les Pauls; Fender 1957 Stratocasters; Taylor and Ovation Acoustics; Fender and Musicman Basses; Ernie Ball strings; Jim Dunlop Jazz III picks; Marshall JCM900, JCM800, JMP and MKII amplifiers; Marshall speaker cabinets; Ampeg SVT Bass Amp; Sure SM57, Sennheiser 421, AKG C414 and 421 microphones; Ibanez Tube Screamers (Keeley modified Turbo-Tubescreamer, stock TS9's, and custom-built Tube Screamers by Nokina Design); Focusrite Red Series microphone pre-amps; Apogee converters and Wordclocks; Coleman Audio 5.1 sound distribution; Mackie studio monitors; Apple computers; RME Audio Electronics; Logic Pro software; and various sound libraries and synthesizers. More Info
In 1996 George Bellas signs with Shrapnel Records
"George Bellas' debut release is an album of intensely heavy compositions with odd-time meter and neo-classical, progressive overtones. Bellas lead the way for a new breed of guitar players as he explored the outer realms of cutting-edge guitar music. This release also features Deen Castronovo on drums."
Signing with Shrapnel Records
Bellas sent a demo of his newly written album "TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM" to Shrapnel Records and President Mike Varney immediately recognized George's exceptional talent and versatility. Shrapnel Records signed George as a solo artist in 1996 and flew him out to California to record his debut album. The musicians recording the album were: Deen Castronova, Drums; Kevin Chown, Bass; Matt Guillery, Keyboards; Brad Kaiser, Drums; Mike McCarron, Drums; George Bellas, Guitar, Bass, and Keyboards. The recording of the album was completed in December of 1996 and his debut album "TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM" was released on May 21,1997.
George's debut album "TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM" was composed using paper and pencil on five-line music manuscript paper one note at a time before ever picking up a guitar. Some of the music was hand-written in a car while driving across the USA in a convertible. Other songs where written outside in the back of George's home while sitting and basking in the sun.
Shortly after signing with Shrapnel Records, George got a call from Mike Varney asking him if he would be interested in joining UFO. Phil Mogg and Pete Way decided on George after hearing his playing and unique song writing abilities. George began traveling to Pete Way's house and started writing and arranging the songs with both Phil Mogg and Pete Way. After meeting several times and developing the songs, it was time to fly out to San Francisco and record the album. The recording took place in February of 1997 at Prairie Sun Recording Studios in Cotati, California. The band consisted of Phil Mogg, Vocals; Pete Way, Bass; Ansley Dunsbar, Drums; George Bellas, Guitar; and special guest Eric Martin, Vocals (Mr. Big). Due to legal reasons, the band went under the name MOGG/WAY and released their first album entitled "EDGE OF THE WORLD".
In between those two albums, "Turn of the Millennium" and "Edge of the World", Bellas managed to write a bunch of songs and record an album for the highly talented vocalist John West. The album, which is entitled "MIND JOURNEY", features John West, Vocals; George Bellas, Guitar; Barry Sparks, Bass; Mike Terrana, Drums; and Matt Guillory, Keyboards. This album was recorded at Prairie Sun Recording Studios in San Fransisco, CA., and James Murphy’s Sound Temple Studio in January of 1997. The album was released in May of 1997 on Shrapnel Records.
George Bellas finished his 4th album "MIND OVER MATTER" for Shrapnel Records in November of 1997. It is an all instrumental neoclassical album rich in classical counterpoint and virtuoso guitar playing. The line up is: Deen Castronovo, Drums; Barry Sparks, Bass; and George Bellas, Guitar and Keyboards. "MIND OVER MATTER" was released in February of 1998.
Bellas’ latest effort "Mind Over Matter" leads the way for a new breed of neo-classical guitar players. With a solid resume and exceptional skill as a guitarist, George Bellas will amaze even the most accomplished musician.
George also composed music for the 2nd John West CD entitled "PERMANENT MARK" which was released on Shrapnel Records in the 2nd quarter of 1998 and included some Bellas music.
In March of 1998 world renowned classical pianist Vitalij Kuprij flew to George's studio to record an all instrumental album entitled "EXTREME MEASURES" for Shrapnel Records. George engineered all the keyboard and guitar tracks at his studio. The album is neoclassical in style and an extreme showcase of mind boggling chops performed by the two virtuosos, along with Jon Doman, Drums; and Jon Onder, Bass. The album has numerous highlights of incredible, over the top performances!
"The performances are top notch... and some absolutely FACEMELTING solos from Vitalij on the keys and George Bellas on guitar."
Early 2001 - George recorded "THE ORACLE" with the new band "Ring Of Fire". The band members were Mark Boals, Vocals; Vitalij Kuprij, Keyboards; George Bellas, Guitar; Virgil Donati, Drums; and Philip Bynoe, Bass. Tracks were cut in Chicago, Steve Vai's "The Mothership" studio, Eric Norlanders "Think Tank Media Studio" as well as "The Green Room". The album is a fierce collection of well crafted songs with beautiful Neoclassical melodies, chord progressions, aggressive rhythms and great virtuoso performances by everyone. Any fan of the Neoclassical style should definitely have a listen to "The Oracle".
4th quarter of 2001 George completed the development of a 12 CD-ROM guitar course called "The George Bellas Instructional Series". This series is for the guitarist that's interested in developing better guitar technique. The George Bellas Instructional Series breaks down fundamental components of specific areas of technique and focuses in on key elements to improve one's skills on the guitar. The course includes twelve individual categories of music principles and guitar-specific techniques.
During the Fall of 2002, George recorded and released another album called "HUNDRED YEAR FLOOD" with the progressive rock group "Magellan". The band members are Trent Gardner, Keyboards/Vocals; Tony Levin, Bass; Joe Franco, Drums; Ian Anderson, Flute; George Bellas, Guitar, and others. The album ‘Hundred Year Flood’ was released September 10, 2002 on Magna Carta Records.
During January 2003, Bellas Music Studio Inc., George's primary media production company, released several music education software titles that include: EarTraining, GuitarPaper, Metronome, StudioLog, and GuitarTuner. These are software based music tools developed and coded by George Bellas. "The George Bellas Instructional Series" 12 CD-ROM Guitar Course continues to gain increasing popularity amongst a legion of students and educators worldwide.
In 2003 George Bellas signs with Lion Music
"Ordained "Master of Neoclassical Guitar of the 2000's" by his peers, George Bellas has released his best and most impressive solo effort to date in 2003 with his latest album, Venomous Fingers. Bellas has produced an amazing collection of intensive, instrumental tracks that feature his masterful guitar work. Bellas reaches new heights on this album with his compositional depth and musical quality..."
Signing with Lion Music
George’s album “VENOMOUS FINGERS” is released November 18, 2003 on Lion Music and picks up stellar reviews over the globe. During the next several years George composes a vast amount of music while simultaneously recording two new albums; one instrumental album and one vocal album.
Legendary US Guitarist releases neoclassical masterpiece. On Venomous Fingers, George has finally been able to develop his own compositions into a neoclassical masterpiece."
June 2007 - George appears in Malaga, Spain to conduct a 3-day weekend series of Master-classes at the Guitarra Acedamia. While there he also performed an impromptu on the coast of Spain and recorded some solos for the professor at the school.
August 2007 - Legendary Scorpion's Guitarist, Uli Jon Roth contacts George to perform some concerts at Sky Academy held at Musician's Institute, Hollywood, CA, USA, with him along with Michael Batio, Joe Stump, Johnny Highland, Mark Boals, Tony Franklin and many more. The three-day long concerts ended with a finale of the classic song "Johnny B. Goode", with George Bellas, Uli Jon Roth, Michael Batio, Johnny Highland and Joe Stump all trading solos in what had to have been the fiercest rendition of the song ever.
Sky Academy Day II: August 25, 2007
Uli Jon Roth introduced Chicago guitar player George Bellas who performed an incredible instrumental he had written. George Bellas once again thrilled the audience with his original song "Timeless Inspiration" written specifically for the Sky Academy event. Needless to say the song was filled with many tempo changes and many shades of fire and ice. Best Song: Sails of Charon. Best Guitar Solo: "Timeless Inspiration" by George Bellas. –– Classic Rock Revisited
November 17, 2007 - George appears at the Guitar Institute of Technology (Musician's Institute) for a clinic and open counseling. There were so many students waiting for George's classes that the school had to quickly find a large enough room to accommodate the larger than expected crowd. Even with the larger room students were still hanging out of the doorway into the hall.
November 18th, 2007 - George's album "FLYING THROUGH INFINITY" is released worldwide through Lion Music. The album was vocal based and released under the moniker Palace Terrace.
February 15th, 2008 - George's new album "PLANETARY ALIGNMENT" is released worldwide through Lion Music. This album features the extraordinary drummer Marco Minnemann and is one of the most progressive albums George has released.
"Bellas has carved out a sound, technique and method of writing that is so unique it's impossible for it to not attract your attention."
June 2008 - George finishes production for his new album "STEP INTO THE FUTURE". The album was the largest single piece of music that George has ever released. The album consists of one song with a running time of 76 minutes.
Solo Albums by George Bellas
January 23, 2009 - George's new album "STEP INTO THE FUTURE" is released worldwide through the Lion Music record label.
LION MUSIC PRESS RELEASE: "The ever prolific GEORGE BELLAS is back, less than a year on from his previous solo album ‘Planetary Alignment’ with his boldest and most progressive body of work to date in “STEP INTO THE FUTURE”. The name George Bellas is synonymous with stretching musical boundaries and human imagination with his musical compositions. This new album is ultra-modern in style and really reaches out to a futuristic sound in its compositional sense and outlook. The album ranges from the explosive to the ethereal with emotionally stirring segments. Adding to its uniqueness “STEP INTO THE FUTURE” consists of just one song that is 76 minutes in length."
"This album exposes not only Bellas’ abilities as one of the most innovative axemen, but also one who can clearly communicate with his instrument in a way that so few shredders know how to... One of the first contenders for instrumental guitar album of the year has already arrived."
July 16th, 2010 - George's new album "THE DAWN OF TIME" is released worldwide through Lion Music and picks up stellar reviews around the globe.
LION MUSIC PRESS RELEASE: Composer George Bellas is back with his latest instrumental jewel: “The Dawn Of Time”. This is an instrumental album rich in Romanticism and Futurism with over-the-top performances by Marco Minnemann and George Bellas. The album contains a diverse collection of 19 songs that range from simple and delicate, to complex and ferocious. The production is dynamic, clean, and has an open sound to it allowing the music to breath naturally. On this album the arrangements are short and accessible, and the songs euphonious and tonal, especially when compared to George's previous album, which was a single 76 min song and atonal for the most part.
"George Bellas has proven himself to be the guitar virtuoso of 2010 and despite living in a different time and playing in a different genre deserves to be remembered as we do now with the likes of Mozart, Bach, Lennon and McCartney. This is timeless music of undisputed quality making it definitive George Bellas."
Top Selling Album of 2010
"THE DAWN OF TIME" by George Bellas was the # 1 selling album of the year in 2010 at Guitar Nine Records and # 1 at Lion Music during the summer of 2010. During November of 2010, two other albums by George were also in the top ten selling albums, with "STEP INTO THE FUTURE" coming in 4th place and "PLANETARY ALIGNMENT" coming in 5th place.
March 2011 - George composes a massive body of 18th century counterpoint called The Palindrome Canons. This body of music has a total running time of 108 minutes. The Palindrome Canons contain sophisticated counterpoint that is played forwards and backwards simultaneously.
June 21st, 2013 - George's new album "ASTRAL PROJECTION" is released worldwide through Lion Music. This album contains 70 minutes of epic progressive instrumentals packed with chaotic guitar improvisations; mind-melting rhythms; lyrical themes; and advanced explorations of modern principles that are combined with classical elements of counterpoint, harmony and form.
"Bellas has established himself with this album as a genre of his own."
February 22, 2018 - George's new album "COLONIZING THE STARS" is released worldwide through Bellas Music Studio. Nine epic compositions in a futuristic style with a palette of lyrically-flowing melodies, otherworldly harmonizations, and inventive rhythms all sounding through a barrage of guitar, bass, drums, choirs, and orchestral instrumentation.
"George Bellas is much more than just another guy who knows how to play electric guitar very quickly and technically. He is a serious composer, innovator, and musical teacher who generously shares his knowledge with students."
Bellas continues to write and record a massive amount of music. Not adhering to trends or social expectancies where artist's are expected to release a new album every year, George balances his time between writing new, fresh and inventive material with working on the production for albums that are completely written and awaiting further production. This approach has yielded more than seven complete albums that Bellas has accumulated which are intended to be released. For George Bellas, the immense joy of imaginative creativity is one of the most fulfilling aspects of the human experience.
Over the course of his career George has been fortunate to have recorded and performed with some of the most elite musicians in the world, including: Deen Castronova, Ansley Dunbar, Virgil Donati, Marco Minnemann, Brad Kaiser, Jon Doman, Gerald Kloos, Mike McCarron, Mistheria, Uli Jon Roth, Michael Batio, Joe Stump, Johnny Highland, James Murphy, Robert Barry, Jason Becker, Marco Ferrigno, Pete Way, Phil Mogg, Tony Franklin, Phil Bynoe, Jon Onder, Tony Levin, Eric Martin, Trent Gardener, Ian Anderson, Barry Sparks, John West, Mike Terrana, Vitalij Kuprij, Matt Guillory, Kevin Chown, and many other amazingly talented musicians.
George is an in-demand music teacher. His student base is vast and spans many countries, including: The USA, Japan, Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, South America, Mexico, Spain, Australia, France, Great Britain, Thailand, Korea, Turkey and more. George has taught thousands of students around the globe through his Master-classes, Guitar Clinics, Private Lessons, Online Lessons, and electronic instructional media. Bellas is very passionate about teaching and sharing the gift of music by educating, guiding, inspiring, and motivating his students to reach their full potential.
Great minds that have inspired George include: Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Dr. Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Edwin Hubble, Nikola Tesla, Palestrina, Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Paganini, Liszt, Chopin, Wagner, Debussy, Shoenberg, Slominski, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Walter Piston, Ted Greene, Trent Gardner, Styx, Queen, and Gamma. There have been countless other sources of inspiration, but the aforementioned have made the strongest impact. For Bellas, it is the creative and intelligent unbounded minds that have propelled a seemingly immeasurable amount of fascination and ongoing inspiration.