Louise Brugger Bidwell teaches piano in the Music 150C program in the UCB Music Department. She is trained as a pianist and composer and enjoys playing a variety of keyboard instruments in the UC Berkeley Music Department. Louise’s areas of enthusiasm in piano teaching include the traditional Romantic music, and she particularly enjoys teaching contemporary music. She works with students to develop a warm, expressive tone and a convincing musical interpretation, In addition to concentrating on issues relating to piano performance, Louise encourages her students to explore piano duets, vocal accompanying and chamber music and to use the Music Department’s collection of keyboard instruments.
She has a BA from Stephens College and an MA from Holy Names University; she studied composition at UC Berkeley with John Thow, Andrew Imprie, Olly Wilson and David Wessel. Her piano teachers have included Bernhard Abramowitsch, Adolph Baller and George Barth. She is an Alumna of the Center for New Music and Audio Technology (CNMAT), having participated at CNMAT for 12 years, becoming familiar with various contemporary styles of composition involving computers and research. She also studied at MIT with Jeanne Bamberger focusing on how students learn and perceive music.
Louise gave annual concerts at Stanford University for 10 years and participated in many Master Classes, including three classes with Karl Ulrich Schnabel. She was Chair of the Music Department at St. Augustine School, Oakland, and was on the Faculty of the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond and West Valley College in Saratoga. She also worked for four years with musically gifted students at the Yehudi Menuhin Scholarship Program at Nueva Learning Center in Hillsborough CA. She organized and sponsored a course at CNMAT with Jeanne Bamberger in music perception. She is experienced as an adjudicator, having judged at
Certificate of Merit at all levels, including Panel, and at the Royal School of Music Evaluations.
She has performed many concerts at UC Berkeley on the department’s historic Erard and Wieck pianos. The first was in 2010, when she participated in the Schumann Bicentennial Program, playing Schumann’s Fantasie. She then began exploring the vast resources of the Hargrove Music Library at UC Berkeley, searching for exciting original piano music from the Romantic Period that is played less frequently today but perfectly suits the beautiful earlier pianos of the period. In 2011, her journey of discovery resulted in a Noon Concert on the Erard, featuring nocturnes by Fryderyk Chopin, John Field, Clara Schumann, and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel. In 2013, another Noon Concert featured music by Cipriani Potter, an important nineteenth-century composer, teacher, conductor, and scholar; it included an amusing trio for five hands which she played with Martha Wasley and Davitt Moroney. Her 2015 Noon Concert featured nineteenth-century compositions that were derived from Baroque musical forms: a Gigue by Brahms, the Prelude, Chorale and Fugue by César Franck and the famous Chaconne in D Minor by J. S. Bach arranged for the left hand alone by Brahms. In 2016, she participated in the Music Department’s Mendelssohn Celebration at the Magnes Museum in Berkeley. In Spring 2017, she participated in the Cal Day Celebration for Robert and Clara Schumann.