Louise Brugger Bidwell has taught piano at UC Berkeley since 1986. She is trained both as a pianist and a composer. Louise’s first teacher was Jolan Kanyuk, a Hungarian refugee who had taught piano at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. As a scholarship student, Louise completed a BA at Stephens College and an MA at Holy Names University, where she studied with Bernhard Abramowitsch. Following graduation, Louise studied piano with Adolph Baller in Palo Alto for 17 years. As a student at UC Berkeley, she studied composition with John Thow, Andrew Imbrie, Olly Wilson and David Wessel. 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 comprehend 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. Currently, she is studying with George Barth and is active in the community as an accompanist and chamber musician.
Louise’s areas of enthusiasm in piano teaching include the traditional Romantic Repertoire, 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 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 wonderful collection of keyboard instruments.