One of the joys of teaching at Berkeley is engaging students to explore keyboards other than the one they currently play, moving towards a sense of awareness, competency, and accomplishment beyond modern piano or organ. There is an unusually rich collection of fine early keyboards available to music majors. I enjoy helping others reach a sense of comfort with a harpsichord; its touch, the repertoire, and learning about its various uses in history. The fortepianos offers new insight towards the sound ideals of both the Classical and early Romantic eras, illuminating Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven’s scores in surprising ways.
Charlene Brendler is an accomplished and versatile early keyboard artist, performing and teaching on both harpsichord and fortepiano. As fortepianist she has toured California, Germany, and France with the Streicher Trio, winning international travel grants and multiple listings on the California Arts Council Touring Roster. The Trio’s three Compact Discs were released by Bayer of Germany and Music and Arts in Berkeley. They include the Mozart Trios, Trios by Clara Schumann and Louise Farrenc, and Musica da Camera, featuring highlights from the Frank de Bellis 17th – 18th century musical collection at the San Francisco State University Library.
Ms Brendler has collaborated on both harpsichord and fortepiano as recitalist with numerous colleagues in the field, including Max van Egmond, Judith Nelson, Janet See, and Rene Clemencic. Solo concerts have been presented at The Smithsonian, the Yale Collection of Instruments, and at international festivals as well as in many regular California venues. Advanced degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Royal College of Music, London, were followed by appointments at several California colleges and conservatories. Early keyboard tutors have included harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt and John Gibbons, and fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson.
In addition to teaching harpsichord and fortepiano, Charlene teaches Music History at the Crowden School, a course she developed with the late Anne Crowden. She also writes articles, CD, and book reviews for the British Journal “Harpsichord and Fortepiano”. Charlene conducts maserclasses throughout the state.