Charles David Denler, a Marlborough native who is an Emmy Award winning composer and pianist, is bringing his music back home in a Benefit Concert at the Marlborough Arts Center on December 1st, 2023. Reviewers have called him “a genius” and a “national treasure”. He is considered to be one of today’s preeminent modern composers and has written scores for over 200 film and TV programs, while winning 4 Emmy Awards, 2 Park City Film Music Gold Medals, 2 Gold Medals at the Global Music Awards, and many festival honors and awards for his film scoring. He has also played internationally with the Prague National Symphony Orchestra, a recording of which was named the Best Neoclassic Album of 2022. His music has been described as beautiful, triumphant, epic, inspiring, and dramatic. He even wrote fun pieces for children on STARZ!KIDS. Clips of his works can be listened to by scrolling to the bottom of this page, or by visiting Charles’ website at charlesdenler.com
Charles is an incredibly prolific composer. His music has been featured with many well-known artists such as Creed, Cyndi Lauper and Paul Simon. His music has also been featured on TV Channels including Disney, National Geographic, History Channel, PBS, Animal Planet, Honda, Coca Cola, Oprah, American Chopper, Dirty Jobs, Dateline, NBC, NASA, the Colorado Rockies, and the New York Yankees. He has written for many feature films starring actors such as Helen Mirren, Robert Duvall, Susan Sarandon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Dreyfuss, Louis Gossett, Jr., Charles Durning, Steve Guttenberg, Daryl Hannah and many others. His concert works include “Portraits of Colorado”, “American Symphony #1”, and “Portraits in Season”. In 2014 he was asked to compose a new theme for the Colorado Rockies Baseball Team. That music was recorded with the Colorado Symphony and premiered live on Coors Field on Opening Day with Charles conducting. He shares his gifts by lecturing at film festivals and universities across the United States and continues his teaching as a professor of composition, music theory, and music production.
Below, enjoy Charles’ story written in his own words:
A life in New England and the inspiration for my symphonies.
I started composing music in fourth grade. When I was in grade school, my grandfather bought us an old $50 piano. I fell in love with that piano! I started composing my first symphony long before I knew how to really read and write music. It was always very natural to compose music that somehow reflected my surroundings, and of course, New England has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
While living in Marlborough, I began writing music for film and television. This started with a chance connection to National Geographic. They asked me to start writing music for their television programs. This eventually led to well over 200 films with Nat’l Geo, History Channel, PBS, Discovery Channel, and feature films. I moved to Colorado so that I could be closer to Los Angeles, and even had a Studio in LA for awhile. I lived there for over a decade, but I could never shake my love for Eastern Connecticut and the town where I grew up. I began writing symphonies about my hometown while I was living in the west. My latest symphonic work, “Portraits In Season”, was based on many of the writings by American author, and New England native, Henry David Thoreau. I wanted to write a symphonic suite that reflected the four beautiful, and nearly perfect seasons on display here in this part of the country.
I moved back to Marlborough a little over two years ago. I bought an old Lake cottage that was slated to be torn down, and I have slowly been rebuilding it. It is understandably humble in stature, but I love being on the lake where I grew up. I made sure that my piano sits in my living room with a vantage overlooking the lake. This has become the inspiration for many of my recent symphonic and neoclassical works. The inspiration that I have found here in my native New England, has opened doors for me to play piano and premiere my music with symphony orchestras in the United States, and in Europe. I travel back to Colorado nearly once per month to lecture and work with college students.
No matter where I am, I am always thinking about my wonderful refuge from the world here in Marlborough, Connecticut. My family moved here from Switzerland in 1883. Six generations of Denlers have lived in Marlborough for the last 140 years. My great grandfather was the Marlborough Mills Postmaster, my grandfather was involved in town politics, and my father built 104 houses in this area. My father now lives with me in my little lake side home. It is cozy to be sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I am also engaged to the love of my life, Joan Franzino. We will be getting married in my hometown this coming July. I feel as though my life has suddenly opened to a wonderful new chapter, I call it: Life 2.0!
I often open the windows near my piano while I am composing and practicing. Early one evening, I was lost in thought, composing at the piano, and I looked up and saw that a group of people on paddleboards had gathered near the shore of my little Lake-house – an impromptu concert. I hope for many more chance encounters such as this!
I rarely appear in concert, but on December 1st, I will be giving a solo piano concert to raise money for the Marlborough Arts Center. All of the proceeds from the concert go directly to the Arts Center. The concert will feature Christmas carols, a few standards, and a bunch of original piano solos that I have written in the last few years.
I continue to write music for film and television. Life has gotten incredibly busy, and I have around 50 films to score over the next few years. I will be releasing a new solo piano album within the next few months, and hopefully writing a few more symphonies inspired by this wonderful place we call home, in New England.
This very special concert will be at the Marlborough Arts Center, 231 North Main Street in Marlborough, CT on Friday, December 1st. Tickets are $25 and can be bought in advance at the Arts Center beginning on Friday, November 10 and every following Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the month of November from 1-4 p.m. Doors will open at 7 PM with the concert beginning at 7:30. There is ample parking and the building is fully accessible.