The fourth annual Madeleine Festival of the Arts and Humanities begins today with a dinner posthumously honoring Geoffrey Chambers Hughes, prominent longtime sponsor of Utah arts, who received this year's Madeleine Award for distinguished service to the arts and humanities.

"Geoffrey was especially interested in sponsoring young talent, making its development financially possible, so in that spirit we will hear from a young violinist, Brian Hernandez, tonight," said Marrie Hart, festival chairman.The festival will sponsor events on the following six Sunday evenings at 7:30, in different Salt Lake arts locations, since the Cathedral of the Madeleine is now closed for renovation and restoration.

"We welcome this opportunity to take our arts festival to the public, rather than having the public come to us," said Hart, "and we have tailored each event to suit the place where it will be presented. Admission is free each evening."

First up on the series proper (April 14) will be "The Haunting Melody of Gustav Mahler," by Alan Heap of the University of Utah's department of family and preventive medicine. Heap will use slides and tapes to illustrate a lecture focusing on the theme of death and resurrection in the famed Austrian composer's Second Symphony.

On April 21, BYU English professors Susan Howe and John Murphy introduce the work of Flannery O'Connor, with dramatic readings by professors Lorna Nielsen Best and David B. Paxman.

Further concerts will include "A Consort of Voice and Instruments" on April 28, with prominent Utah musicians - soprano JoAnn Ottley, clarinetist Christie Lundquist and pianist Jed Moss, in music of Poulenc, Vaughan Williams, Cooke and Chopin.

Anna Campbell Bliss takes the spotlight on May 5 in the State Office Building to discuss her mural "Windows," recently installed at the Utah State Capitol. The mural combines artistic expression with computer technology.

"In Memoria Mozart" will take the choir and orchestra of the Cathedral of the Madeleine to Temple Square on May 12 for a program featuring the Regina Coeli, KV108, and the Missa Brevis in G Major, KV49, as well as smaller works.

The Millant Chamber Players will conclude the festival "With Strings and Pipes" in the U.'s Museum of Fine Arts on May 19. Violist Leslie Blackburn, clarinetist Russell Harlow, cellist Roger Drinkall and pianist Dian Baker will collaborate in music of Faure and Brahms.