Brenda started playing harp at the age of 7.
At the Rotterdam Conservatory (nowadays called Codarts University of the Arts), where she started studying with Teresia Rieu when she was only 13, she developed a very solid base both technically and musically.
After graduating Bachelor in Music in 1998, Brenda received a grant to study in Germany with Prof. Helga Storck, where her performance skills and orchestra playing were brought to a higher level. This resulted in winning the auditions for both the European Union Youth Orchestra, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in the Summer of 1999.
She concluded her classical training by returning to Codarts, where she refined her technique and musical sensitivity under the guidance of Godelieve Schrama.
Parallel to her classical music education, she already made some escapades to jazz harp by taking lessons and workshops with Park Stickney, Deborah Henson-Conant and Carrol McLaughlin. Since 2005, Brenda is actively involved in the world of jazz harp. Both in playing and in spreading the gospel: together with fellow harpist Sabine Meijers she founded and leads the international Jazz Harp Foundation.
Her journey continued into the field of free improvisation through the discovery of a strong and intuïtive musical connection with fellow musicians Marieke voor de Wind (bassoon) and Sietse van Gorkom (violin).
Currently, her main focus as a performer and a teacher is blues and jazz, played solo or in a band, both on the lever harp (acoustic and solid body electric) and the pedal harp.
As a free lance musician, Brenda has the luxury to be able to integrate all the above mentioned genres into her professional life. At any given time, one might find her performing jazz in a classy combo, presenting the French impressionists in a recital, playing the blues at the corner jam, improvising with a bassoonist and a painter or a story teller or grooving with a DJ at a club or corporate event.
Brenda teaches general harp lessons with an emphasis on form and chord knowledge, solid technique and posture, as well as specialized blues and basis jazz harp lessons. With London, UK, as her current home base, she teaches workshops and co-organises jazz harp jam sessions throughout the UK and abroad.
Brenda is an amateur violin and cello player, and mother of two boys who's cello and drum set are happily sharing the music room with her bunch of wood and a lot of strings ;)