Studied Musicology at Goddard College, Vermont. Took Classical Guitar studies with Sophocles Papas, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, David Perry, Bryan Johanson. Master classes with Michael Lorimer and Jose Thomas. Studied jazz, music theory and arranging with Frank Mullen.
Mandolinist, Radim Zenkl has been a friend and mentor for years, enabling me to explore the mandolin well beyond the basics and into the beautiful soundscape of Eastern European and Balkan music as well as classical and traditional Irish & American music.
Playing 5-string Banjo has been a love of many years which included visits to the southern Appalachians to listen to and learn from the old players. Beginning in the 1950's I participated in weekly musical gatherings in Baltimore, MD, attended by Mike Seeger, Tom Paley, John Cohen of the New Lost City Rambers, Peter Streett, old-time clawhammer afficionado, as well as many others who were playing and collecting traditional mountain music.
I teach frailing, clawhammer and melodic 5-string banjo styles, as well as beginning and intermediate bluegrass.
I have over 30 years teaching and performing experience. My goals are to provide a solid background in music fundamentals, theory and technique. Even more, I aim to enable the students to pursue their OWN musical tastes and interests.
1960's: Performed frequently on 5-string banjo and guitar at Berkeley California's KPFA radio progrm, "The Midnight Special" as well as throughout the SF Bay area.
I played guitar in two flute & guitar duos. 1970's: GENE & RENE, Flute & Guitar. Gene Ashton is a world-renowned jazz musician living in New York; RUTH ROWAN & RENE BERBLINGER, a popular flute & guitar duo performing classical, bosa nova and jazz tunes.
1980's (Seattle) SAM & RENE: mandolin & guitar duo playing Irish, Appalachian to classical styles. Sam Morgan is a renown fiddler and mandolinist formerly of "Hickory Wind". I also played 5-string banjo and mandolin with "The Virginia Creepers", old-time & bluegrass band. We were also the accompanying partner to the "Wet Apple Cloggers" when they performed at folk festivals throughout the Northwest.
1990's: Keyboardist for Comedy Sportz Improv Theater in Portland.
1983 to present: Play classical guitar, mandolinist & banjo as "RENE'S RENAISSANCE RAGTIME JAZZ".
1970's: Columbia School of Music, Sopocles Papas Guitar Shop. Private music teaching studio in Washington, DC.
1979: Georgetown University.
1980's: Rene's Guitar Studio, Seattle, Washington.
1987 to present: Private teaching in Portland, Oregon.
1989: Pedagogical Musical College, Khabarovsk, Russia.
1998 to present: Artichoke School of Music, Portland, Oregon