posted November 19, 2007

Charles Aschbrenner Speaks at European Conference

Charles Aschbrenner of the Hope College music faculty was an invited speaker during the annual conference of the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) held in Novi Sad, Serbia, on Friday-Monday, Nov. 2-5.

He presented the address "Intractable Tension and Rhythmic Incoordination: Chicken or the Egg?" Following the conference he gave a master class to piano students at the Music Academy of the University of Novi Sad.

Aschbrenner is a certified Dalcroze Eurhythmics instructor, and is intensely interested in the issues of movement, rhythm and physical freedom in performance. He has presented lecture-demonstrations across the United States as well as at the College Music Society international conference held in Vienna, Austria. His articles on rhythm and movement have appeared in the "Journal of the Dalcroze Society of America," and his Web site "Pulse Patterning for Pianists" has attracted international responses.

He has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1963, and is a professor of music as well as chair of the piano area at the college. His piano students have entered graduate programs across the country and ultimately careers in teaching, performance and opera direction worldwide.

Aschbrenner has lectured and performed as both a soloist and a collaborative pianist throughout Michigan and the Midwest. In 1986 he gave lecture-recitals in San Miguel, Mexico, and in 1987 he was sponsored in a two-week tour of Portugal by the U.S. Department of Information.

For many years, he appeared with former Hope colleague Joan Conway in the duo-piano team of Conway and Aschbrenner. They sponsored a popular two-piano camp for high school students at Hope for several summers, and they commissioned a work for two pianos by David Pinkham, "Holland Waltzes," for the 1982 Holland March Festival.

Aschbrenner is the Hope College liaison for the Holland Piano Teachers' Forum, the local chapter of the Michigan Music Teachers Association (MMTA). He has served on the state board of the MMTA as membership chair, and has served the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) as collegiate competitions chair and, most recently, scholarship foundation chair.

He is a member of professional organizations including the MMTA and MTNA, the EPTA UK, the College Music Society and the Dalcroze Society of America.

In September 2004 he was named the "Teacher of the Year" by the Holland Piano Teachers' Forum. In October of this year the Hope's students chose him to be grand marshal of the college's Homecoming parade.

Aschbrenner completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Illinois in 1959, and his Master of Music at YaleUniversity in 1963. He further studied with renowned teachers Nadia Boulanger in France and Adele Marcus in New York City.

Before coming to Hope, Aschbrenner had an appointment at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.