A composer and performer of note, Stan Charkey is a former member of the New York Pro Musica, the Renaissance Consort and the Music For A While ensemble. Stan has played as a soloist and chamber musician at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and as a guest artist at the Marlboro Music Festival, and has written scores for dance, theater and chamber ensembles. “Teaching has made me care more about music,” said Stan. “A piece I’m performing may take on a whole new dimension because we’ve analyzed it in class and I’ve suddenly become aware of something I never noticed before.” He liked working with students who are passionate and curious about learning all types of music. “I like those who are open to new musical experience, which ironically often means for young musicians getting to know older music.”
Stan perceives the development of musical skills as the honing of a craft. He is fascinated by the changing attitudes musicians have had toward their art. “In history classes, I emphasize the artists’ relationships with society as well as the development of forms on a purely musical level.” This enthusiastic mentor found that immersion in the liberal arts at Marlboro helped him maintain a broad outlook on his discipline. “Being able to discuss Nietzsche over a cup of coffee somehow works its way back into the music. And it also does a lot for my teaching.”
Stan continues his work as a composer, and has had premieres of new works recently performed in Paris, Los Angeles, Washington and at the Marlboro Music Festival. He spent his last sabbatical composing and playing at the Kimmel-Harding Center for the Arts, where he was an artist in residence. He is presently working on compositions for six-string electric cello in collaboration with California cellist Paul Cohen, and a film is being made about this process. Stan has recently become more interested in jazz, and plays a seven-string electric guitar retuned as an Elizabethan lute, his most familiar instrument.